Lavrov urges no ‘concessions to terrorists’ at Turkey FM Syria talks

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MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday said there should be no “concessions to terrorists” at talks with his Turkish counterpart on Syria, a day after Moscow’s ambassador was murdered in Ankara.

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“This tragedy forces all of us to fight more decisively against terrorism,” Lavrov told Turkey’s Mevlut Cavusoglu as they sat down together in Moscow.

“For this reason, I very much hope that our talks and the upcoming three-way meeting with our Iranian colleague will allow us to reach agreements, which will through concrete actions advance the settlement in Syria,” Lavrov said, also insisting that they should not allow “any concessions to terrorists”.

The foreign and defense ministers from Russia, Turkey and Iran are meeting in Moscow Tuesday for key talks on the conflict in Syria.

The meetings come after Russian envoy Andrei Karlov was gunned down Monday at the opening of a Russian photography exhibition in Ankara by a Turkish policeman crying “Aleppo” and “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest), in what Moscow called a “terrorist act”.

Russia and Iran are on the opposite side of the Syrian conflict from Turkey with Moscow and Tehran backing leader Bashar al-Assad and Ankara supporting those seeking to topple him.

But Turkey and Russia have recently worked closely together to evacuate rebel fighters and civilians from the battered city of Aleppo.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Monday warned that the killing of Karlov was a “provocation” aimed at damaging ties with Turkey and undermining the latest efforts to reach a settlement on Syria. AFP

AFP/CC

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