Putin and Erdogan start talks to defuse Syria crisis
Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, with both leaders saying they wish to work together to avoid direct confrontation in Syria.
Faced with rising troop losses, Erdogan said he hoped to strike a deal with Putin for a rapid ceasefire in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib.
The meeting was held amid growing anxiety about an emerging proxy war between Turkey, and Russia, the main military backer of the Syrian state.
Meanwhile, Putin offered his condolences to Erdogan after 33 Turkish soldiers were reported killed in attack blamed on the Syrian state military, Russia’s ally in the conflict.
“We need to discuss the situation to prevent any such incidents and also not to damage Russia-Turkey relations that we cherish,” the Russian leader said.
Puton said the Syrian military had not known the location of the Turkish troops because Ankara had not shared their location.
In comments carried by Russian state media, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin was looking at agreeing on “a package of necessary joint measures.”
rc/rt (AFP, dpa, Reuters, AP)