Turkish delegation to visit Russia to discuss Idlib conflict: FM

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ANKARA, TURKEY - JUNE 25: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu addresses the Representatives of the American Muslim Community at the Foreign Ministry Building in Ankara, Turkey on June 25, 2018. Mustafa Kamaci / Anadolu Agency

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Wednesday said a Turkish delegation would go to Moscow “in the next few days” to discuss conflict with Syrian government forces in Idlib, according to AFP.

“Continuing to work with Russia, we are working to secure a lasting ceasefire. But even if nothing results from this, our determination is clear and we will do what is necessary,” he said.

A Russian delegation including military and intelligence officials held two rounds of talks in Ankara this week, but no concrete agreement emerged.

US special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey arrived in Ankara late Tuesday for meetings with Turkish officials.

Meanwhile, Syrian regime forces pushed on with their offensive on Wednesday, securing further areas along the M5 highway.

Turkey, which already hosts some 3.7 million refugees from Syria, fears a fresh influx if Idlib falls to the regime and has kept its border closed to newly displaced people.

An angry Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blasted “profound silence” from the international community over the violence in Idlib.

“Even if everyone turns a blind eye, turns their back and freezes their conscience, Turkey will not remain a bystander to this situation,” he told his fellow party members at a parliamentary meeting on Wednesday.

Turkish Minute

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