A four-way summit on Syria between Turkey, Russia, Germany and France will be held in Istanbul on Saturday.
The meeting, hosted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will see the participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Staffan de Mistura, the UN special Syria envoy, will also attend the summit, which will follow a joint statement. During the summit, the participants will address the Syrian conflict in all its aspects, focusing on the situation on the ground, the Idlib agreement, and the political process, and to harmonize joint efforts to find a lasting solution to the conflict.
The leaders will also discuss the Sept. 17 agreement between Ankara and Moscow to establish a demilitarized zone in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib.
Under the deal, opposition groups in Idlib are to remain in areas where they are already present, while Russia and Turkey carry out joint patrols in the area with a view to preventing a resumption of fighting.
On Oct. 10, the Turkish Defense Ministry announced that the Syrian opposition and other anti-regime groups had completed the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the Idlib demilitarized zone. Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.