28 Jan 2019 14:20

Lavrov says terrorist presence in Idlib is breach of Russian-Turkish accords

MOSCOW. Jan 28 (Interfax) - The presence of Jabhat al-Nusra (banned in Russia) in Idlib violates the Russian-Turkish agreement to create a demilitarized zone, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"The remaining terrorist nest in Idlib is an obvious fact. Our Syrian colleagues have reaffirmed their commitment to wipe out this terrorist hotbed," Lavrov said at a press conference on Monday.

"Yes, we are ready to act in line with the Russian-Turkish agreement on Idlib, including the creation of a demilitarized zone around the security area. However, the fact that al-Nusra and its new incarnation, Hayat Tahrir ash-Sham (banned in Russia), have seized a large part of that territory clearly contravenes the agreements reached in order to solve the security problem in the Idlib zone," he said.

Russia and Turkey are searching for ways to stabilize the Idlib situation, Lavrov said.

"Our Turkish colleagues and the Russian military are working on possible solutions to the problem. Clearly, the terrorist hotbed will not remain, it cannot be there forever," he said.