UPDATE – 'Solution to Idlib must be political, not military'

ADDS MORE REMARKS FROM IBRAHIM KALIN

By Hulya Corakci Ertan

ISTANBUL (AA) – Turkish presidential spokesperson on Friday said it is everyone's common belief that there must be a political and not military solution in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province.

Speaking to reporters after a preparatory meeting with representatives of France, Germany and Russia for the upcoming four-party summit on Syria, Ibrahim Kalin said they expect maintenance of Idlib's current status, protection of civilians, and prevention of humanitarian crisis there.

"Everyone's common point is that the solution must be political rather than military," he said.

Kalin said there is a general consensus that the consequences of a possible attack on Idlib will be very serious and it will cause humanitarian crises and a new wave of migration.

"Of course, a new wave of migration would not only put burden on Turkey. It could cause a new chain of crises from here to Europe. Therefore, nobody wants this," he stressed.

Kalin said any Syrian migrant in any part of the world would not return to their village or city in Syria before their security is guaranteed.

Stating that the bombing of Idlib will be "unacceptable" and that Turkey will play its part to eliminate the security risks there, the presidential spokesperson said:

"Our expectation here from the international community and the leaders is that they give more open and clear support to Turkey."

He also added that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's upcoming visit to Russian city of Sochi on Monday and efforts afterwards were of high importance.

Since the beginning of September, at least 30 civilians have been killed in Idlib and Hama, and dozens injured, by airstrikes and attacks by the regime and Russian warplanes, according to the White Helmets civil defense agency.

The Syrian regime has recently announced plans to launch a major military offensive to the area, long controlled by various armed opposition groups.

The UN warns that such an offensive would lead to the "worst humanitarian catastrophe in the 21st century.”

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