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Russia looks to reconcile Turkey, Syria as talks kick off in Moscow

Russia seeks to normalize relations between Ankara and Damascus amid four-way talks in Moscow.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (C) shakes hands.

Talks between the assistant foreign ministers of Syria, Russia, Iran and Turkey kicked off in Moscow Tuesday in the presence of Russia’s top diplomat, Sergey Lavrov, as part of a Kremlin-led effort to reconcile Ankara and Damascus.

The outcome of the talks remained unclear as of the time of publication of this article. Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has made peace with Ankara conditional on the withdrawal of Turkish troops from large swathes of northern Syria, parts of which Turkey jointly administers with its Sunni rebel allies. Turkey also has troops in Idlib, which is under the control of al-Qaeda offshoot Hayat Tahrir Sham, in line with the Astana Accords signed with Russia and Iran.

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