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Why new Russia-Turkey deal on Idlib matters

The new deal between Russia and Turkey over Syria’s Idlib is temporary — but important.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan shake hands during a news conference following their talks in Moscow, Russia March 5, 2020. Pavel Golovkin/Pool via REUTERS - RC2UDF91Q123
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MOSCOW — A new deal between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to bring an end to fighting in Idlib puts the saga over this issue on standby. In recent weeks, Russian-Turkish relations witnessed a stress test and personal diplomacy efforts by the two presidents was needed to ease the heat. Still, the fundamental disagreements that Moscow and Ankara have over Syria have yet to be overcome.

“The situation in the Idlib zone in Syria has deteriorated so much that we need to have a direct and personal discussion,” Putin told Erdogan in his opening remarks when the two leaders sat down in the Kremlin on March 5.

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