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As Russia mediates Syria-Turkey talks, can new Idlib truce hold?

As the international spotlight was on intra-Libyan talks in Moscow, Russia mediated talks between Syria-Turkey security chiefs
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov leave a joint news conference following their talks in Moscow, Russia January 13, 2020. Pavel Golovkin/Pool via REUTERS - RC24FE9RU9P6

Ali Mamlouk, special security adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, reportedly met with Turkey's intelligence chief Hakan Fidan in Moscow Jan. 13. According to Syrian state-run media, at the trilateral meeting mediated by Russia, the Syrians “demanded Turkey respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in full and immediately withdraw its forces.” The Syrians also allegedly demanded Ankara honor the Sochi agreement signed in September 2018, which would entail “the freeing of Idlib from terrorists and heavy arms” as well as "unblocking the highways Aleppo-Latakia (M4) and Aleppo-Hama (M5)."

The high-level Turkish delegation, which included Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, arrived in Moscow for discussions on the two key international crises that engaged both Russia and Turkey — Libya and Syria.

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