Rus­sia, Turkey agree to sup­port safe zones in Syria

Cape Breton Post - - World -

BEIRUT — The pres­i­dents of Rus­sia and Turkey said on Wed­nes­day they sup­port the cre­ation of safe-zones in war-torn Syria as a del­e­ga­tion of Syr­ian rebels walked out of cease-fire talks with the Damascus govern­ment un­der­way in Kaza­khstan, cit­ing re­peated vi­o­la­tions of a sim­i­lar truce agreed on in De­cem­ber.

Meet­ing in the Rus­sian re­sort town of Sochi, Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan and Vladimir Putin ex­pressed hope the Syr­ian govern­ment and rebels would adopt this lat­est proposal to “de-es­ca­late” the con­flict, which has run now for six years and claimed some 400,000 lives. Turkey and Rus­sia are deeply en­tan­gled in the war in Syria, in­clud­ing each hav­ing troops on the ground there — Ankara sup­port­ing var­i­ous Syr­ian op­po­si­tion fac­tions and Moscow back­ing Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad’s forces. In Sochi, Putin said Rus­sian and Syr­ian govern­ment jets would halt flights over the spec­i­fied zones if all sides re­spect the cease-fire.

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