21 Oct 2019 18:46

Putin, Erdogan to discuss on Tues development of situation in Syria after Ankara's 120-hr ultimatum to Kurds - Ushakov

MOSCOW. Oct 21 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will discuss during their talks in Sochi the development of the situation in Syria after the expiry of Ankara's 120-hour ultimatum to the Syrian Kurds, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said.

"As is known, those 120 hours, or five days, are already to expire tomorrow. We'll see how the situation develops further. Actually, this is what our leaders will be discussing," Ushakov told journalists at a briefing.

"The most important thing for us is bringing about long-term stability in Syria and the region and we're doing that on an ongoing basis, and we believe that it can be achieved only on the basis of restoring Syria's unity. We expect that the interests of all ethno-confessional groups of the Syrian people will be taken into consideration," Ushakov said.

Speaking about the meeting between Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Ushakov noted that the presidents have already met in person seven times this year. They also have telephone calls regularly and the last of such calls took place on October 15.

"During this conversation in light of the particularities of the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, it was agreed to hold unscheduled working contact," Ushakov said.

The parties will hold talks as part of small delegations, he said.

"It is likely that Putin and Erdogan will have a tete-a-tete conversation. Then, a working launch will be held in a more extended format at which, as we envisage, some issues of bilateral cooperation will be addressed as well. By the way, it is developing normally, exponentially, we have good results on all tracks," Ushakov said.

The two presidents will hold a press conference following the lunch, he said.

The Russian presidential press service, in turn, elaborated on the subject of the meeting between Putin and Erdogan. "The intention is focusing on discussing the state of affairs in Syria, including normalizing the situation in northeast of the country, countering international terrorist groups and promoting the process of the political settlement in light of the upcoming launch of the Constitutional Committee among other things," it said.