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Turkey-Russia 'largely reach deal' on ceasefire

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Under the agreement, Turkish and Russian forces will carry out joint patrols along the M4 highway linking Syria’s east and west, and establish a security corridor either side of it. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Under the agreement, Turkish and Russian forces will carry out joint patrols along the M4 highway linking Syria’s east and west, and establish a security corridor either side of it. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

AFP via Getty Images

Under the agreement, Turkish and Russian forces will carry out joint patrols along the M4 highway linking Syria’s east and west, and establish a security corridor either side of it. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Turkish and Russian officials have largely agreed details of a ceasefire deal in Syria's Idlib region, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said yesterday, the third day of discussions between the two countries.

Last week, Turkey and Russia, which back opposing sides in Syria's war, agreed on the ceasefire to halt an escalation of violence in Idlib that displaced nearly a million people and brought the two countries close to direct confrontation.

Under the agreement, Turkish and Russian forces will carry out joint patrols along the M4 highway linking Syria's east and west, and establish a security corridor either side of it. A Russian delegation arrived in Ankara this week to discuss the details of the agreement.

Russia supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey backs rebels who have fought him for nearly nine years.

"We have largely reached an agreement. At the moment, the attacks have stopped, the ceasefire is holding," Mr Akar was cited as saying by his office. "The joint patrols will start along the M4 on March 15. Our colleagues are discussing the details of that."

A senior Turkish official said concrete results were expected from the discussions in Ankara.

Irish Independent