Russian president praises Sochi agreement on Syria

By Emre Gurkan Abay

MOSCOW (AA) – Russia’s president on Wednesday praised the Sochi agreement on Idlib, Syria reached last month between Russia and Turkey.

"It is a very good agreement preventing bloodshed in the region," Vladimir Putin said at events marking Russia Energy Week in Moscow.

He said Russia and Turkey are putting the agreement into practice with the help of Iran.

Putin also said that the U.S. is violating the UN Charter by being in Syria.

Following a meeting in Sochi last month between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Putin, the two countries agreed to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib, Syria’s last opposition stronghold.

Ankara and Moscow also signed a memorandum of understanding calling for the “stabilization” of Idlib's de-escalation zone, in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

Under the deal, opposition groups in Idlib will remain in areas in which they are already present, while Russia and Turkey will conduct joint patrols in the area with a view to preventing renewed fighting.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

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