Turkey and Russia say they are ready to expedite efforts to ensure the timely delivery of humanitarian aid to people caught up in violence in Syria’s northwestern city of Aleppo, which has been a flash point in the recent past.
The Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Friday that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin “agreed to accelerate efforts to ensure help reaches people in Aleppo.”
The two presidents had a telephone conversation, Anadolu said, where they “held a thorough exchange of views on the situation in Syria.”
The two sides also highlighted such joint efforts and the need for cooperation to obtain regional security against all terrorist organizations including the Takfiri Daesh terror group.
Erdogan and Putin also agreed to hold further talks in the first week of September during the G20 Summit in China.
Russia confirmed the phone conversation.
Moscow and Ankara have been working to mend ties that were strained after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet near the Syrian border last year.
The two countries signed a deal in June to normalize relations.
The situation in Aleppo is dire as the United Nations has been pushing for a ceasefire so that humanitarian aid can be shipped into the city, which is home to nearly two million people.
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said on Thursday that he had received Russia’s agreement for a 48-hour truce meant for humanitarian access to Aleppo.
“The Russian Federation replied 'yes', we will wait for others to do the same,” said de Mistura, adding, "...we are ready, trucks are ready and they can leave anytime we get that message."
Aleppo has been divided between Syrian government forces in the west and Takfiri terrorists in the east. Syrian forces have been engaged in a major operation to liberate the militant-held parts of the city as well as the province with the same name