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Erdoğan, Putin Meet in Moscow for Syria Ceasefire Talks
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (L) meets Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) in Moscow, Russia on March 5, 2020. (Mustafa Kamaci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Erdoğan, Putin Meet in Moscow for Syria Ceasefire Talks

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan arrived in Moscow on Thursday for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin over a possible ceasefire in northwestern Syria, where the militaries of the two countries have clashed in recent months and almost a million civilians have been displaced from their homes. A campaign by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, backed by Russia, aims to retake the area, which is the last stronghold of rebels who have been fighting the regime for the past nine years. Meanwhile, Turkey has pursued its own campaign to push Kurdish forces away from its border. Some 60 Turkish troops have been killed in the area since early February. Turkey is also trying to stem the flow of refugees from Syria into its territory. It already hosts some 3.6 million Syrian refugees and says it cannot handle more. Claiming that the EU has reneged on its commitment, according to a 2016 deal, to provide Turkey with billions of euros in aid to resettle the refugees, Ankara has recently allowed migrants to cross the border into Greece. From there, they can travel freely throughout the EU.

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