Erdogan, Putin to discuss Syrian peace plan next week

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) listens to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during their meeting at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday he will meet Russia's President Vladimir Putin next week to discuss a plan agreed by their countries and Iran to reduce the fighting in Syria's northwestern Idlib province.

The three countries agreed last week to deploy hundreds of observers around the province, which borders Turkey and is controlled by an alliance led by the Nusra Front, fighters once linked to al Qaeda.

"Idlib has been set as a de-escalation zone," Erdogan told an event in New York where he is attending the U.N. General Assembly.

"Right now, outside the border there are guard towers and stations of the Russian Federation. And inside, Turkey has stations at protection points," Erdogan said, adding the Turkish army was also working with Free Syrian Army fighters.

"This will continue until peace will be established over there," he said, without giving further details.

Erdogan said he would meet Putin on Sept. 28, and Turkey's TRT broadcaster said the talks would take place in Ankara.

(Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun)