Russia ‘determined’ to continue its cooperation with Turkey in Syria: FM spokesperson

Russia is “determined” to continue cooperating with Turkey in Syria both militarily and diplomatically, the country’s foreign ministry spokesperson said on Thursday, Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reported on Friday.

Maria Zakharova, Director of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, said that the Syrian situation is one of the prominent issues discussed between Russia and Turkey.

“In particular, we are talking about the northeast of the country, the province of Idlib,” she told a press conference.

Turkish and Russian military forces carry out joint patrols in that war-torn strategically-important province. Turkey has had soldiers deployed there since 2017 under the tripartite Turkey-Russia-Iran Astana peace process.

Zakharova mentioned that process and stressed that Russia is “firmly determined to continue contributing to the advancement of the political process in Syria” under the terms of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254, which calls for a ceasefire and political settlement to the Syrian conflict.

The spokesperson also welcomed “the beginning of humanitarian supplies to Idlib through the line of contact in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2585 and the norms of international humanitarian law.”

Resolution 2585 extends the use of the Bab al-Hawa border crossing between Turkey and Idlib for humanitarian aid. In July, the Security Council, in what the UN itself described as “a rare moment of unanimity on the complex, decade-long Syrian conflict”, adopted 2585 to extend humanitarian aid through Bab al-Hawa for another six months “with the expectation of a subsequent renewal for another six months, until 10 July 2022.”

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