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Putin, Erdogan Agree on Plans to Set Up Demilitarized Zone in Syria: Russian FM

MOSCOW: The presidents of Russia and Turkey agreed on further steps to implement the agreement over a demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib province, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday.

According to the ministry, Lavrov said that, during their meeting in Argentina, the leaders agreed on further steps to honor the agreement on the creation of a demilitarized zone while taking measures to prevent the extremists from sabotaging “the vital agreement” welcomed by all.

The minister added that, despite the consistent actions of the Turkish side, still not all extremists have obeyed the demand to leave the 20-km demilitarized zone.

On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) summit held in Argentina and discussed bilateral cooperation and issues on the regional and international agenda, according to the Kremlin.

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In September at a bilateral meeting held in Russia’s coastal city of Sochi, the two countries agreed to establish a demilitarized zone in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, the last rebel stronghold in Syria, urging rebel groups to evacuate.

Under the deal, Russia and Turkey decided to carry out joint patrols in the area to prevent further fighting.