Four-way summit on Syria ends in Istanbul

Four-way summit on Syria ends in Istanbul

After years of war in Syria, the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Turkey met in Istanbul to try and map out a future for the war torn country.

After years of war in Syria, the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Turkey met in Istanbul to try and map out a future for the country.

More than 465,000 Syrians have been killed in the fighting, and over 12 million have been displaced since the conflict started seven years ago. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held separate meetings Saturday with German, Russian and French leaders ahead of a four-way Syria summit in Istanbul.  

Erdogan's closed-door meetings with Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron took place at the Vahdettin Pavilion in Istanbul's Uskudar district.  

The four-way summit on Syria between Turkey, Russia, Germany and France began on Saturday afternoon and lasted for a few hours.

During the summit, the participants comprehensively discussed the Syrian conflict, focusing on the situation on the ground, the political process, and ways to harmonise joint efforts to find a lasting solution. 

The leaders also discussed the September 17 agreement between Ankara and Moscow to establish a demilitarised zone in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib. 

Under the deal, opposition groups in Idlib are to remain in areas where they are already present, while Russia and Turkey carry out joint patrols in the area to prevent renewed fighting. 

On October 10, the Turkish Defense Ministry announced that the Syrian opposition and other anti-regime groups had completed the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the Idlib demilitarised zone. 

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.