Erdogan and Putin back safe zones in Syria

Erdogan and Putin back safe zones in Syria

The presidents of Russia and Turkey say they support the formation of so-called safe zones in Syria and hope an agreement about them will be reached at the multi-lateral Syria talks under way in Kazakhstan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan met on Wednesday at the Russian presidential complex in the resort city of Sochi.

They spoke to reporters at a joint press conference after their meeting.

Mr Erdogan says he and Mr Putin discussed Russia's plan for safe, or de-escalation, zones in Syria.

The Turkish leader says he hopes "this zone of de-escalation will be accepted" at talks in the Kazakh capital, which also include representatives of Iran and the United States.

Relations between Moscow and Ankara deteriorated after Turkey shot down a Russian plane at the Syrian border in November 2015 and Russia responded with trade and tourism sanctions.

But Mr Putin said on Wednesday that relations have been restored.

AP

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