Leaders of Russia, Germany, France, Turkey Discuss Syrian Crisis in Istanbul

Heads of Russia, Germany, France and Turkey have begun quadrilateral talks on the Syrian crisis in Istanbul’s Vahdettin Pavilion, an official residence of Turkey’s president and a state guest house.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan posed for a joint photo and then walked to the meeting hall.

Earlier on Saturday, the leaders of four nations had held some bilateral talks. Putin held his first meeting with Erdogan and then another with Merkel.

The Kremlin had reported earlier that the four-party talks in Istanbul were anticipated to concentrate on the political solution to the Syria crisis, on further steps restoring security and stability, on conditions for the return of refugees and on the rebuilding of the nations social and economic infrastructure.

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is scheduled to brief the summit’s participants. De Mistura said earlier that he wants to remind the four leaders that after localizing the problem in Idlib, an international consensus is necessary to support UN actions on placing a constitutional commission.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov admitted that all nations have different approaches, but stated that “overall everybody wants to see a political solution in Syria.”

“That is a common goal, while certain disagreements may exist regarding the instruments and tactics,” he explained. “Now we are speaking about a combination of various formats in order to compare notes, to hold discussions and try to find the common ground,” Peskov said.

The Turkish president had proposed the idea of holding a four-party summit which was quickly backed by Russia. In mid-September, aides to the Russian, German, French and Turkish leaders met in Istanbul to agree on the summit’s agendas.

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