Germany says Syria summit might be held in October

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN (AA) – Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that leaders of Turkey, Russia, Germany and France are planning to gather next month for a four-party summit on Syria.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following their meeting in Berlin, Merkel warned that the situation in the northern Syrian city of Idlib remained fragile.

“We are in favor of a four-party meeting,” she said, adding that the leaders of Turkey, Russia, Germany and France were aiming to hold this meeting in October.

An agreement between Turkey and Russia on Sept. 17, averted a large-scale military offensive of the Syrian regime on Idlib, the last stronghold of the opposition forces.

Both Turkey and Germany warned against such a military offensive on the province, which is home to around 3.5 million civilians.

Merkel on Friday praised Turkey’s efforts for millions of Syrian refugees who fled the civil war in neighboring Syria and took shelter in Turkey.

“We have also discussed the EU-Turkey agreement. We remain committed to our promises,” she stressed.

The chancellor said she and Erdogan would continue their talks on Syria and the refugee crisis at a working breakfast on Saturday.

President Erdogan is paying a three-day state visit to Germany, to improve political and economic ties between the two countries.

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