Russia, Turkey Agree to Coordinate Efforts in Syria - Lavrov

© REUTERS / Omar SanadikiA Russian soldier stands guard near a Syrian national flag
A Russian soldier stands guard near a Syrian national flag - Sputnik International
The talks between top Russian and Turkish officials are being held following the entrance of the Syrian Arab Army into the city of Manbij, previously controlled by the Kurdish YPG forces.

"In the development of the agreements that were reached between our presidents, we considered further steps to implement the tasks that were set in the Astana format, primarily in the context of combating terrorism, resolving humanitarian issues, and creating conditions for the return of refugees", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

The minister stressed that both countries had "paid special heed to the new circumstances" following the announcement of the US troop withdrawal.

READ MORE: US Withdrawal From Syria a Step in Right Direction — Russian Envoy to UN

"Both sides stressed that all this work would be carried out in strict compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254, including unconditional respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria", the diplomat stated, also promising to intensify work aimed at creating conditions that would allow more refugees to return to their homes.

People gesture at a US military vehicle in Amuda province, northern Syria - Sputnik International
US Wants to Shift Responsibility to Its Allies by Leaving Syria - Lavrov
Washington announced on 19 December the withdrawal of its troops from Syria within 60 to 100 days. US President Donald Trump explained the pull-out by stating that the American troops had achieved their goal of defeating the Daesh* terrorist group in the Arab state. Commenting on the decision Russian envoy to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya noted that with the Syrian army regaining control of the Syrian-Iraqi border, the complete eradication of Daesh forces will be imminent.

Ankara's Stance on Syria

Lavrov's Turkish counterpart Melvet Cavusoglu confirmed that the countries have a common position on Syrian issues, including the need to eradicate all the terrorist groups in the country.

"We confirmed our readiness and determination to continue this struggle in order to finally clear the territory of Syria from this evil", he said.

Earlier in December, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that he was ready to launch a military operation against Kurdish fighters in Manbij if the US did not remove the YPG militants from there.

*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia

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