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Russia and Turkey to Coordinate Action in Syria

Moscow and Ankara are to collaborate on action in Syria via a newly established department consisting of diplomats, military and intelligence officials, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced Wednesday in an interview, the Interfax news agency reported.

A meeting to discuss the details on the new joint initiatives will be held in Russia's St. Petersburg on Thursday, Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported.

"In the past, we had separate procedures for working with Russia on Syria. Now, we are bringing those intelligence, Foreign Ministry and military procedures together," Cavusoglu said to Hurriyet.

Cavusoglu also maintained that Turkey's and Russia's positions on implementing a ceasefire may differ, despite earlier reports that an agreement had been reached.

"First of all, we want to cease attacks that affect the civil population," he said, stressing that Turkey did not support fighting moderate opposition groups without terrorist connections. "From our point of view, the siege of Aleppo is unacceptable," Cavusoglu said.

The collaboration was approved during a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Erdogan on Tuesday.

"We have a common goal — the regulation of Syrian crisis," Putin said before the meeting, the Interfax news agency reported. 

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