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The two countries “are working energetically to settle the most acute crises in the world, primarily in Syria” Putin said during talks with Erdogan.
At a joint press conference following a meeting of the Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council, Putin said “the ceasefire in Syria is generally holding thanks to the well-coordinated efforts of Russia, Turkey and Iran”.
“They noted that largely thanks to the active role of Russia and Turkey, it became possible not only to ensure the cessation of hostilities between Syrian government forces and the armed opposition but also to begin substantive talks, direct and concrete negotiations between the parties to the conflict in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan,” Putin said.
In January this year, Russia’s Aerospace Force and Turkey’s Air Force conducted the first joint air operation against the Islamic State in Aleppo.
Russia and Turkey act as guarantors of the ceasefire in Syria, which came into force on December 30. The government forces and armed opposition groups, which have over 60,000 members, have joined the truce.
Meanwhile, the United States on Wednesday stepped up its deployment of troops to Syria to 900. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a militia alliance including the Kurdish YPG, is the main U.S. partner in the war-torn country. This partnership has strained Washington-Ankara ties. Ankara sees US-backed Syrian Kurdish forces linked to Turkey’s own outlawed Kurdish insurgency.
TBP and Agencies