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Ankara Intensifies Consultations with Moscow, Tehran to Face ‘Nusra’ in Idlib | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu addresses the media in Ankara, Turkey, July 29, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Ankara, Moscow- Ankara has started intensifying its consultations with Tehran and Moscow regarding the situation in Syria and the latest developments that are related to al-Nusra Front’s control over wide areas in Idlib Governorate, which is close to the Turkish borders.

It has discussed means of facing the terrorist front and preventing the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Syrian governorate and the emergence of a new wave of refugees, while Moscow has warned of the growing strength of al-Nusra Front in Idlib and its attempt to control the border-line with Turkey through the Syrian governorate.

Meanwhile, the guarantor states are continuing their consultations at the level of technical experts on the details of the implementation mechanisms of the “Idlib de-escalation zone.”

“Lately, an active regrouping of Nusra Front forces was noted as well as the flow of radical members of the armed opposition to this terrorist organization. This endangers the general situation in Syria as it strengthens terrorists’ positions,” a military-diplomatic source in the International Syria Support Group task forces told RIA Novosti news agency.

“They are carrying out active actions to establish control over financing sources and are trying to take control of main border crossings with Turkey,” the source warned.

In this context, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the TRT Haber news channel Wednesday that Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov will visit Turkey to discuss the Syrian crisis.

He added that the clashes continue in Syria, pointing out that his country is working on keeping the process of Astana vital and that the most important role of this process is to stop the clashes on the ground, form areas of stability and reach de-escalation.

Cavusoglu explained that his country continues its technical talks with Russia and Iran with regard to de-escalation zones in Syria, adding that after fully securing de-escalation zones, the political solution must be presented.

He stressed that his country is involved in all processes aimed at achieving peace in Syria, and it is providing positive contributions to those processes.

For his part, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, the chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces, visited Turkey on Tuesday together with a high-ranking political-military delegation upon an official invitation from Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar.

Fighting against terrorism, regional developments, bilateral relations in the defense industry and border cooperation are some of the topics that have been discussed during the three-day meetings.

The Iranian commander, who is visiting Turkey for the first time, was planned to meet Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other Turkish senior officials during his stay.