Russia, Germany, France and Turkey meet for four-way Syria summit

Russia entered the Syrian war on the side of the government in 2015 as Damascus looked ready to fall

Russia entered the Syrian war on the side of the government in 2015 as Damascus looked ready to fall

French President Emmanuel Macron, left, speaks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during their meeting at Vahdettin Mansion in Istanbul on October 27, 2018, prior to a summit on Syria.

The solution in Syria "is a political one, not a military one", Ibrahim Kalin, spokesperson for the Turkish president, said on Friday.

The leaders also called for the completion of the constitution committee's process for establishing a Syrian constitution by the end of this year that would pave the way for an inclusive and fair election in the country which has borne the brunt of a devastating civil war since 2011.

"We made a call for the constitutional committee's establishment process to be completed as soon as possible - we hope that it will be established by the end of this year", Erdogan said.

"We rely on Russian Federation to exercise very clear pressure on the regime which depends on it for survival", he said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan read the statement, which hailed "progress" following a deal last month between Syrian-regime supporter Russian Federation and rebel-backer Turkey to create a buffer zone around the northwestern province of Idlib.

The leaders emphasized "the importance of increased coordination among all global initiatives which aims at contributing to a credible and sustainable solution" to the Syrian crisis.

In a joint statement adopted at the end of the talks in Istanbul, the four nations "stressed the importance of a lasting ceasefire, while underlining the necessity to continue to fight against terrorism". It also involves the withdrawal of "radically-minded" militants, including the al-Nusra Front, from the region.

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The final statement rejected "separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as the national security of neighboring countries".

Le Monde reported the decision to underscore the need to "ensure humanitarian organizations' rapid, safe and unhindered access throughout Syria".

France has said it intends primarily to promote the maintenance of the ceasefire in Idlib to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe and a new mass wave of refugees.

"The challenge is to end two wars: The war against terror and the war of the regime against large parts of its own population", she said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a solution to the Syria crisis can not simply be military and must include a political process under the auspices of the United Nations that envisages free elections as a goal.

The leaders called on the worldwide community, particularly the United Nations and its humanitarian agencies to increase their assistance to Syria.

The summit also addressed the plight of the millions displaced by the grinding conflict, saying that conditions needed to be created "throughout the country for the safe and voluntary return of refugees".

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