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Turkish presidential spokesperson: We weren’t expecting Tehran Summit to be televised

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Turkey’s presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on Tuesday they were not expecting that discussions at the Tehran Summit on Sept. 7 would be broadcast live, the T24 news website reported.

“Still, the world witnessed the efforts of our President [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan],” referring to Turkey’s foreign policy objective to prevent a Russian-backed Syrian army offensive in the rebel-held Syrian city of Idlib.

Regarding the ongoing bombing of Idlib by Russian and Syrian military units, Kalın said that could undermine diplomatic efforts and cause a crisis of confidence between the partners, namely, Russia, Iran and Turkey, the main outside actors.

During the Tehran Summit, President Erdoğan called for a ceasefire with the rebel groups in Idlib; however, Russian President Vladimir Putin refused to add an article calling a ceasefire to the final declaration of the summit on the grounds that the rebels were not represented at the meeting.

Some analysts argued that the brief discussion between Erdoğan and Putin on air was the tip of an iceberg of conflicts between Ankara and Moscow over rebels in Idlib.

Meanwhile, President Erdoğan on Monday urged the international community to be aware of its responsibilities in Syria as an assault on Idlib looms, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

He evaluated the latest developments in northwestern Idlib province and Turkey’s position on the matter in an opinion piece he wrote for The Wall Street Journal.

“All members of the international community must understand their responsibilities as the assault on Idlib looms. The consequences of inaction are immense,” Erdoğan said in the op-ed, titled “The World Must Stop [Syrian President Bashar] Assad.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Tuesday also called on international allies to work together in Syria’s Idlib in efforts to prevent civilian casualties, according to Anadolu.

“What we propose is very clear. Let’s stop this civil war in Idlib. And if the concern is the presence of the terrorist groups, let’s work together to eliminate them,” Çavuşoğlu said during a joint news conference with his Romanian and Polish counterparts in the Romanian capital of Bucharest.

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