Professor Celalettin Yavuz, an advisor to the Chairman of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on foreign policy and security and a retired captain of the Turkish Navy, told Sputnik that from the perspective of a Syrian settlement, the quartet summit is important not only in terms of security, fighting terrorism and preventing a new wave of refugees but also in terms of excluding the Americans, who are trying to consolidate their presence in the region, supporting the armed Kurdish formations and creating new bases.
"As you know, one of the main tasks in resolving the Idlib issue is to ensure the maximum safety of life and health of almost 3.5 million civilians in the Idlib district. If an armed clash would occur on this territory, this could result in the death of innocent civilians and a large-scale migration wave. Neither Turkey nor EU countries, especially Germany and France, want to allow events to develop this way. A significant burden of responsibility within the EU falls on the shoulders of Germany. As far as I know, there are currently about 1 million refugees in Germany. In France, there's not that many migrants, but the Macron government wants to maintain its influence in the Syrian-Lebanese region."
"I believe that Erdogan, who was the initiator of the idea of holding a quartet summit, could have personally discussed this issue with Putin, perhaps at a meeting in Sochi. The parties to the Syrian conflict settlement want to work out a plan for a sustainable resolution of the conflict. Turkey, Russia and the EU are aiming for this. No one wants to face a new flow of Syrian refugees on their borders."
However, there are differences between the main players and to work out such a plan won't be easy, Yavuz noted.
"First of all, the issue around Idlib is not fully resolved. It is not yet clear how the withdrawal of militants from the demilitarization zone will be carried out, and where they will go after that.
Celalettin Yavuz believes that if France and Germany can find common ground with Turkey, Russia and Iran the issue of US presence, then it will be resolved much more effectively.
"The task of getting Germany and France on their side on this issue lies with Erdogan and Putin. If Paris and Berlin are convinced of the need to counter the permanent US presence in the region, this will be a significant step towards ensuring stability in Syria and in the Middle East as a whole," the Turkish military expert concluded.
The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.