Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin will thoroughly discuss Ankara's commitment to "the fight against terrorists" in Syria's Idlib de-escalation zone, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Sept. 25.
"We are in consultations with our Turkish partners who made a special agreement with us two years ago, committing to the fight against terrorists in the Idlib de-escalation zone and efforts to separate them from armed groups that are not terrorist and cooperate with Turkish troops," Lavrov said.
"The presidents of Russia and Turkey will hold another meeting in a few days where the implementation of these commitments will be thoroughly discussed. Clearly, the pace of implementation has been slow," Lavrov added.
Putin and Erdoğan are expected to hold talks in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Sept. 29. The Turkish leader said earlier that he planned to discuss the Syria issue with Putin in order to come to an important solution. The two leaders last met in March 2020. Later, they spoke on the phone and via video conference due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Turkey has sent more troops to Idlib ahead of the leaders' meeting, Bloomberg reported this week.
The thousands of additional soldiers will help deter any attempted advances by Syrian ground forces on Idlib and control roads leading to the Turkish border, according to two Turkish officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to share sensitive information.