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Turkey to host next summit on Syrian peace next month

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pose prior to a trilateral meeting on Syria in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on February 14, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for the next Nur-Sultan summit on Syrian peace process in September, the presidential spokesman says.

President Erdogan “will host a three-way summit with the participation of Russia and Iran in Ankara on September 16,” said Turkish Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin late on Wednesday.

The announcement of the meeting between presidents of the three countries comes at a time when Syrian government troops and their allied fighters have made advances into the northwestern province of Idlib.

Large parts of Idlib province and parts of neighboring Hama province constitute the last major militant stronghold in Syria.

Erdogan, Rouhani and Putin will discuss the volatile Idlib, as well as the establishment of a constitution commission and how the political process should continue, Kalin added.

Since 2017, Turkey, Iran and Russia, the three guarantor states in the Syrian peace process, have held summits to discuss the situation in Syria in what has generally been known as the Astana format.

Kazakhstan changed the name of its capital from Astana to Nur-Sultan back in March, and thus, the general name for such summits was also changed to Nur-Sultan.

The last such trilateral summit was held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in February this year.

Turkey has 12 observation posts in Idlib province, which is home to three million people.

President Erdogan would speak on the phone with his Russian counterpart in the coming days, Kalin said, adding that preparations were being made for another call with US President Donald Trump.

Syria, gripped by a militancy since 2011 that has killed hundreds of thousands, has managed to take back control of many territories from the Takfiri Daesh and other terrorist groups. The militancy war has displaced millions of people inside the Arab country.

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