Putin, Erdogan to Discuss Situation in Syria in Context of Offensive on 22 October - Kremlin
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Turkey launched its offensive in Syria's north, aimed at clearing the border of Kurdish militants, on 9 October. Meanwhile, on 17 October US Vice President Mike Pence announced a 120-hour ceasefire in Syria's north after talks with Erdogan in Ankara. The aim of the ceasefire is to allow the withdrawal of the Kurdish-led forces.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, plan to discuss the situation in Syria in the context of Turkey's offensive during their meeting on 22 October in Russia's Sochi, Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov said on Monday.
"There are plans to continue discussing the situation in Syria – in the context of the military operation that the Turkish Armed Forces is conducting in the territories to the east of Euphrates, naturally. We assess the results of negotiations between the Turkish leadership and the US vice president positively in general. However, these 120 hours or five days expire tomorrow, as you know, so let us see how the situation develops. This is what our leaders will discuss", Ushakov said at a briefing.
Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov has stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin is to discuss the situation in Syria and Ukraine in a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday.
He has further added that Russia maintains constant contact with Syrian President Bashar Assad regarding Turkey's offensive in northern Syria, which Damascus has slammed as a violation of its sovereignty.
"Our representatives are permanently in contact with Assad, including Special Presidential Envoy [for Syria Alexander] Lavrentyev. The Defence Ministry also maintains constant dialogue ... Without any doubt, our representatives and Assad have thoroughly discussed the situation in the context of Turkey's operation", Ushakov stated.
It is necessary to achieve long-term stability in Syria with account for the interests of all groups of the Syrian people and create conditions that would not hinder the first meeting of Syria's constitutional committee, Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov said Monday.
"The main thing is to achieve, and we do it on a permanent basis, long-term stability in Syria and the region, and we believe that this can be achieved only on the basis of restoring Syria's unity. We believe the interests of all ethnic-confessional groups of the Syrian people will be taken into account," Ushakov added.
Turkey launched its offensive in Syria's north intending to clear the border of Kurdish militants, on 9 October. Damascus has called the Turkish operation an invasion and has deployed its troops in the north of the country. The international community had condemned the Turkish operation which remains halted till 22 October as the result of Pence-Erdogan talks, but Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu pledged that Turley would continue its offensive if Kurdish forces do not leave the area by the agreed time.
Putin, Sisi to Discuss Russia-Egypt Charter Flights Resumption 23 October
The Russian presidential aide has continued by saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah Sisi, will hold a bilateral meeting on 23 October on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, and they plan to touch upon charter flights resumption.
According to Ushakov, the leaders plan to discuss cooperation on trade and the economy, and exchange opinions on the regional situation, with a special focus on the Middle East and North Africa.
"This topic will certainly be discussed. It has been discussed at the previous meeting as well, and some orders in this respect have been made. We are preparing to discuss this. We have invited our transport minister to the meeting with Sisi, he will voice his suggestions, and the Egyptians will describe what is being done and what else they intend to do to fully resume flights", Ushakov added.
Putin and Sisi will also speak at the business forum in Sochi on 23 October and hold a working breakfast with heads of leading regional organsations, the Kremlin aide announced.
Russia suspended civilian air traffic to Egypt in November 2015 after a bomb brought down a Russian plane, which took off from Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 people on board. Before regular flights between Moscow and Cairo were resumed in April 2018, Egypt had to seriously enhance security at airports. Charter flights between Russia and Egyptian resorts are yet to be resumed.
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