Turkey to host four-way Syria summit on Oct 27 in Istanbul

French President Emmanuel Macron's office said Paris wanted to ensure a ceasefire in Idlib remained in place to prevent a new exodus of refugees and to provide new momentum for peace talks. PHOTO: AFP

ISTANBUL (AFP) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host a summit on the Syria conflict with the leaders of Russia, Germany and France on Oct 27 in Istanbul, his spokesman said on Friday (Oct 19).

The summit will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as French and German leaders Emmanuel Macron and Dr Angela Merkel, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said, cited by the state-run Anadolu news agency.

It will seek efforts to find a "long-lasting solution" to the Syria conflict as well as the situation in the last major Syrian rebel-held bastion of Idlib, Mr Kalin said.

Mr Erdogan had previously planned to host the international summit in September, but it did not take place then.

Syrian regime-ally Russia and rebel supporter Turkey announced an agreement on Sept 17 to create a demilitarised buffer zone ringing the Idlib region, home to three million people.

The deal to create a 15km to 20km-wide zone came after a flurry of activity as Turkey sought to avoid an assault by Damascus and a further influx of people across its border.

According to the deal, the zone would separate rebel and regime zones under the supervision of the two sponsor countries.

It gave opposition and militants until Oct 10 to clear the buffer zone of any heavy weapons.

Mr James Jeffrey, Washington's special representative on Syria, hailed on Wednesday (Oct 17) the Russian-Turkish deal as a "major step" that has "frozen" the country's devastating seven-year war.

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