FM Çavuşoğlu discusses Mideast with US counterpart

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Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu discussed the latest developments in the Middle East with his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo by phone Sunday.

Pompeo “reiterated the need for NATO to play a greater role in the region and stressed the U.S. commitment to the U.N.-facilitated peace process in Syria,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

Writing on Twitter, Pompeo said: “Had a good discussion on developments in the Middle East with Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu today.”

Their phone conversation came after a cease-fire brokered by Turkey and Russia came into effect in Syria’s Idlib province

Turkey pushed hard for the cease-fire after Idlib endured months of battering by forces of the Bashar al-Assad regime and its allies, sending about a million civilian refugees flocking to the Turkish border.

Turkey and Russia agreed in September 2018 to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

Since then, more than 1,300 civilians there have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces as the cease-fire continued to be violated.

Over 1 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks over the last year.