U.S., Turkish officials discuss cooperation in Syria

Turkish presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın discussed the Syrian conflict with U.S. special envoy for Syria Joel D. Rayburn on Wednesday, the presidential office said.

The officials met at the Turkish presidential complex, where they discussed the ongoing talks over a new Syrian constitution, with a particular focus on the Syrian city of Idlib, A News cited the office as saying in a statement.

Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, which shares the same name as its capital, is the last bastion for Turkey-backed rebel and jihadist groups fighting against the Syrian government.

Kalın and Rayburn agreed to intensify joint efforts to support the constitutional committee aiming to ending the Syrian conflict and pave the way for free and fair elections, along with ensuring the safe return of refugees, A News said.

Kalın affirmed Turkey's commitment to de-escalation in Syria despite continued ceasefire violations by the Syrian military and its allies, A News said.

Turkey and Russia, Damascus’ strongest backer in the conflict, brokered a ceasefire agreement in March to end the fighting in Idlib between Turkish-allied armed groups and the Syrian military. The ceasefire has largely held, despite some intermittent bombardment in the area from both sides.