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Unlawful Foreign Presence Must End in Syria – Putin After Talks With Erdogan

Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in the Russian city of Sochi to discuss an array of issues, with the situation in Syria and the Turkish military operation there expected to be the main topic of their conversation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that foreign forces that are currently deployed in Syria unlawfully must leave its territory. He added that Turkey shares this vision, as well as that the idea that the Arab Republic’s integrity must be preserved.

Separately, he advocated that the Syrian government and Kurdish forces need to hold broad talks in order to take into account the interests of all the religious confessions that exist in the country.

In the joint memorandum of the two presidents, both countries pledged to work towards finding a lasting political solution for Syria within the Astana Mechanism and promised to assist the Constitutional Committee in this endeavour.

Joint Patrols in Syria

The two presidents have reached an agreement that the Turkish military operation in Syria will be limited to a distance of within 30 kilometres from the Turkish-Syrian border. Moscow will send military police, while Damascus will send border guards in order to ensure the removal of YPG forces and their weapons up to a “depth of 30 kilometres away from the border”. The operation needs to be completed within a timeframe of 150 hours.

After YPG forces are removed, Turkey and Russia will organise joint patrols to the east and west of Ankara’s military operation, covering a 10-kilometre wide zone, with the exception of Qamishli city.

Peace Spring Operation Ends

Following the end of the talks between the two presidents, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that the signed memorandum will ensure the end of the bloodshed in Syria, arguing that it is an important step towards a Syrian peace settlement.