Turkey to host four-way Syria summit Oct 27 in Istanbul

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Istanbul (AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host a summit on the Syria conflict with the leaders of Russia, Germany and France on October 27 in Istanbul, his spokesman said Friday.

The summit will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as French and German leaders Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said, cited by the state-run Anadolu news agency.

It will seek efforts to find a "long-lasting solution" to the Syria conflict as well as the situation in the last major Syrian rebel-held bastion of Idlib, Kalin said.

Erdogan had previously planned to host the international summit in September, but it did not take place then.

Syrian regime-ally Russia and rebel supporter Turkey announced an agreement on September 17 to create a demilitarised buffer zone ringing the Idlib region, home to three million people.

The deal to create a 15-20 kilometre-wide zone came after a flurry of activity as Turkey sought to avoid an assault by Damascus and a further influx of people across its border.

According to the deal, the zone would separate rebel and regime zones under the supervision of the two sponsor countries.

It gave opposition and jihadist fighters until October 10 to clear the buffer zone of any heavy weapons.

James Jeffrey, Washington's special representative on Syria, hailed Wednesday the Russian-Turkish deal as a "major step" that has "frozen" the country's devastating seven-year war.