Ministers may meet in Moscow to advance Turkey-Syria ties

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The foreign ministers of Turkey, Russia, Iran and Syria may hold consultations in early May as part of Russia's attempt to help broker a rapprochement between the Turkish and Syrian governments, Turkey' foreign minister said on Monday.

NATO alliance member Turkey has been a major backer of the political and armed opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a 12-year civil war, and has sent its own troops into swathes of the country's north.

“The meeting will most probably take place in early May, in Moscow,” Minister Mevlut Cavusoğlu told broadcaster A Haber, saying it could lead to a leaders' meeting.

Syrian and Turkish defense ministers held talks in Moscow in December in the highest-level encounter since the war began.

Moscow is Assad's main ally and Russia has encouraged a reconciliation with Ankara. But Damascus demands full withdrawal of Turkish troops for relations to be restored.

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