Putin says conditions for peace in Syria have been achieved

The Russian and Turkish presidents have agreed to step up peace efforts in the beleaguered country

Putin says conditions for peace in Syria have been achieved

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shakes hands with visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin after a joint press conference in Ankara, 28-09-2017. Image: Xinhua/Mustafa Kaya

The Russian president has said that the conditions needed to end the civil war in Syria have been achieved.

Vladimir Putin was speaking following overnight talks with his Turkish counterpart President Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara.

The two men agreed to step up peace efforts in the beleaguered country – signalling their intention to continue the push for the creation of a fourth de-escalation zone in Idlib Province where heavy fighting is ongoing.

It was reported on Wednesday that Russian and Syrian government airstrikes in the province had killed at least 150 civilians and injured dozens more over a week-long bombing campaign.

“Necessary conditions have de-facto been created for ending the fratricidal war, for the total elimination of terrorists and the return of Syrians to a peaceful life and to their homes,” said President Putin.

Mr Putin said it had “not been easy” to implement the agreements made at the Astana talks but insisted positive results had been achieved.

Russia, Turkey and Iran have been cooperating on maintaining de-escalation zones in Syria following peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Iran and Russia had backed Syrian President Bashar al Assad in the dispute while Turkey allied itself with rebel forces.

However, relations between Russia and Turkey have noticeably softened since they began cooperating.

This morning, the two leaders welcomed recent improvements in economic cooperation – noting their ongoing partnership in building a Black Sea gas pipeline.