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Putin, Erdoğan agree to boost military-intel cooperation after Su-25 downing

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In a telephone conversation on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan agreed to enhance cooperation between the Russian and Turkish armed forces as well as the intelligence services in fighting terrorism, Sputnik reported.

“It is agreed to strengthen coordination of the actions of the armed forces and special services of Russia and Turkey in order to combat terrorist groups that violate the ceasefire regime,” the Kremlin press service said.

According to the statement Erdoğan expressed condolences to Putin over the death of Russian military pilot Roman Filipov in a militant attack in Syria.

“The importance of clear and strict compliance with the Astana agreements on the creation of de-escalation zones in Syria is stressed. Both sides confirmed their commitment to a political and diplomatic settlement based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254, in line with the decisions of the Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue held on January 30 in Sochi,” the statement said.

Both presidents noted the importance of continuing the joint work of Russia, Turkey and Iran with respect to Syria. In addition, during the conversation, prospects for new cooperation at various levels within this framework were discussed.

The leaders of Turkey and Russia reportedly agreed on the need to speed up the establishment of observation posts in Idlib. The situation in the Damascus suburb of East Gouta was also discussed, Sputnik reported.

Erdoğan and Putin also discussed the situation in Afrin, Syria, where the Turkish troops are conducting operations, and in Idlib, which has been declared a de-escalation zone.

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