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Putin, Erdogan to discuss situation in northeast Syria: Kremlin

Xinhua,  17 October 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss the situation in northeast Syria at a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Oct. 22, the Kremlin said Thursday.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov recalled that Putin on Tuesday expressed in a phone conversation with Erdogan his concern about the humanitarian consequences of a military operation Turkey is conducting in Syria. “The situation in the northeast of Syria is certainly tense due to this operation, and this will, of course, be a very important topic on the agenda of talks on next Tuesday in Sochi between Presidents Putin and Erdogan,” Peskov told reporters.

“And, of course, as the presidents always do, they use this meeting to ‘synchronize watches’ on current issues of bilateral Russian-Turkish relations,” Peskov added. On Oct. 9, Turkey and its allied Syrian rebel groups started a operation to eliminate Kurdish forces in northern Syria, in order to end what Turkey perceives as the threat of “terrorist and separatist” groups on its southern border and to impose a safe zone for millions of Syrian refugees hosted by Turkey.

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow is ready to help cooperation between Damascus and Ankara on the basis of the 1998 Adana Agreement between Turkey and Syria, under which Syria stopped supporting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), considered as a terrorist party by Turkey.

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