Idlib deal being implemented as planned: Turkish FM

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey October 29, 2018. REUTERS

ISTANBUL (Xinhua) – Turkey is implementing as planned the agreement on Syria’s Idlib reached with Russia last month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.

“Right now, there is no problem regarding implementation of this memorandum,” the minister was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu Agency following a meeting with his Iranian and Azerbaijani counterparts in Istanbul.

He cited as an example two roads connecting respectively Aleppo to Hama and Aleppo to Latakia in Syria to be opened by the end of this year.

“Everything is on track right now,” Mr Cavusoglu said at a joint press conference with his Iranian and Azerbaijani colleagues, adding his country will be the first to intervene against any terror or radical groups trying to cross the line.

Under the Turkish-Russian deal, a buffer zone was established in Syria’s Idlib province, in which heavy weapons and jihadists are to be cleared.

As quoted by state news agency SANA, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said on Monday that the Turkish side had so far failed to push the radical rebels to withdraw from the buffer zone, “which indicates the Turkish reluctance to live up to its pledges and thus Idlib is still under the control of the Turkish-Western terrorism.”

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