Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says there has been no consensus with the visiting Russian delegation on Idlib, where the regime's push has raised tensions with Ankara. Other officials say talks failed to yield desired results.

A van arrives at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey as Turkish and Russian delegation discuss Idlib on February 10, 2020, in Ankara.
A van arrives at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey as Turkish and Russian delegation discuss Idlib on February 10, 2020, in Ankara. (Halil Sagirkaya / AA)

Turkey's Foreign Minister said on Monday that there has been no consensus with the visiting Russian delegation regarding the escalating situation in Syria's Idlib.

Mevlut Cavusoglu's remarks came during a joint news conference with visiting Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Miro Cerar in Ankara.

He said that since the talks had failed in the first meeting on Saturday, a second session was in progress.

Later, Turkey's governing AK party spokesman Omer Celik said those talks failed too.

"The meetings and the negotiations with the Russians are continuing, but no concrete results have been reached yet. The negotiations will continue," he said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal chaired the Turkish delegation comprising representatives from the National Defense Ministry, General Staff and National Intelligence Organization.

The Russian side which chaired by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin and special envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev comprised representatives from military and intelligence circles.

Talks to resume

Steps to boost the political process in the war-torn country were discussed in a three-hour-long meeting that stressed the need to ensure peace in Idlib province. It was decided to resume talks in the coming weeks.

On February 3, an attack led by the Bashar al Assad regime in Idlib killed seven Turkish soldiers and one civilian contractor working with the Turkish military and wounded over a dozen people.

In retaliation, Turkey struck over 50 targets and eliminated 76 regime members.

On Monday too, regime shelling killed five Turkish soldiers in Idlib. Turkey said it killed more than 100 regime personnel in response. 

Ankara has demanded the regime pull out of Idlib and adhere to the ceasefire, which the regime forces have violated for months together killing hundreds and sparking a widespread displacement of civilians. 

Violation of ceasefire deals 

Idlib has been a stronghold of opposition and rebel groups since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn the province into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

But more than 1,800 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces since then, flouting both the 2018 ceasefire and a new agreement that was reached on January 12 this year.

More than 1.7 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks over the past year.

Turkey remains the country with most refugees in the world, hosting more than 3.7 million Syrians since the start of the civil war in the Middle Eastern country. 

More than 400,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the nearly nine-year war and millions displaced. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies