International

Putin, Erdogan hold talks over Syria conflict

Vladimir Putin with Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Kremlin in Moscow.

Vladimir Putin with Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Kremlin in Moscow.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Their armies are facing off in Idlib

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday began talks over a potential ceasefire in northern Syria with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan by offering condolences over the recent killing of Turkish soldiers there.

Mr. Putin, speaking alongside Mr. Erdogan at the Kremlin, said the situation in Idlib province, where their armies are facing off in a war that has displaced nearly a million people in three months, had become so tense it required one-on-one talks.

Mr. Erdogan said he hoped the meeting, which was initiated by Mr. Putin, would agree measures to ease the conflict.

A senior Turkish official said that the two leaders were likely to agree to a ceasefire, after weeks of diplomacy failed to halt fighting between Turkey and allied Syrian rebels and Russian-backed Syrian government forces. “Political diplomacy will be more determinant today than military diplomacy,” the official said.

Also read | Is the endgame near in Syria’s civil war?

Russian air strikes have propelled a push by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces to retake the last large rebel-held territory in the northwest. That has sparked what the UN says may be the worst humanitarian crisis in a nine-year war that has driven millions from their homes and killed hundreds of thousands.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 8:06:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/putin-erdogan-hold-talks-over-syria-conflict/article30993245.ece

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