Comment: On the one hand, it's just another high-profile meeting in an era of non-stop high-profile meetings about world-changing events.

On the other hand, this meeting is particularly historic because it marks the first time - since about the early 18th century - that arguably THE top geopolitical issue du jour was discussed - and a plan formulated, or at least constated, for dealing with it - without the presence of either the British or the Americans.

This is, without doubt, THE biggest piece of news anyone should be hearing about. In the West, especially in the Anglosphere of course, it's completely drowned out by the cascading crises it finds itself immersed in, and the deafening sounds of its own media horns trumpeting (crises or no crises) how awesome and virtuous it is...

© PutinMerkelErdoganMacron Global Look Press/Oliver Weiken
History-makers: Russian President Putin • German Chancellor Merkel • Turkish President Erdogan • French President Macron
Despite years of disagreements on Syria, leaders of Turkey, France, Germany, and Russia have worked out a common vision of the steps to reconciliation in the war-torn country as they met in Istanbul. Here's the summary of it.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who hosted the talks, was joined by Russia's Vladimir Putin and France's Emmanuel Macron, as well as Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel. Following the summit, the four leaders held a joint press conference and released a communique, highlighting what common ground they had found during the four-way talks.
  • Only political solution for Syria: The leaders have "expressed their support for an inclusive, Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process that is facilitated by the United Nations."
  • Need to start work on constitution in Geneva: A committee set to draft a new constitution for Syria should begin its work as soon as possible, preferably before the end of this year.
  • No to division of Syria: Syria must continue to exist within its pre-war borders. Any separatist movements or desires of foreign powers to occupy parts of the country are therefore firmly rejected.
  • Keep ceasefire & defeat terrorists: The four countries have expressed their support for the Idlib ceasefire deal, brokered earlier by Russia and Turkey. At the same time, they emphasized the importance of fighting terrorism and condemned the usage of chemical weapons.
  • Boost humanitarian aid: The United Nations and other international organizations should bolster aid deliveries to the war-torn country. "Swift, safe and unhindered" flow of humanitarian aid will provide much needed relief to the sufferings of the Syrian people.
  • Help return of refugees: The four leaders stressed the importance of "safe and voluntary" return of refugees to Syria. To facilitate the process, appropriate housing and social care facilities must be constructed in the country.
  • Internationally-observed elections: The ultimate goal of the political settlement process is holding transparent, internationally-observed elections, the statement reads. All Syrians, including those who had to flee the country, must be able to participate.