Turkey, Russia, Iran, Syria Hold ‘Constructive’ Talks

Voice of America News reports: “The defense ministers and intelligence chiefs of Iran, Russia, Syria and Turkey held talks on Tuesday that Ankara and Moscow described as constructive, as part of efforts to rebuild Turkey-Syria ties after years of animosity during the Syrian war.

NATO alliance member Turkey has backed political and armed opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the 12-year civil war, and sent its own troops into the country’s north.

Moscow is Assad’s main ally and Russia has encouraged a reconciliation with Ankara. But Damascus demands the full withdrawal of Turkish troops for relations to be restored.

At the talks in Moscow, the ministers and intelligence service chiefs discussed strengthening security in Syria and the normalization of ties between Ankara and Damascus, the Turkish and Russian defense ministries said in separate statements.

All four countries reaffirmed their desire to preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and the need to intensify efforts for the speedy return of Syrian refugees to their country, the statements said…”

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