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    Jobar, a district of Damascus controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra militants (File)

    Lavrov: Russia, Turkey Mostly Share Assessment of Terrorist Groups in Syria

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    Russia and Turkey mostly share their assessment of which groups should be considered terrorist in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

    SOCHI (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a phone conversation for the first time in more than seven months. The leaders agreed to restore bilateral relations, inluding in the spheres of trade and tourism.

    "For the most part we have no disagreements on what groups should be considered terrorist," Lavrov told reporters following talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

    "In accordance with UN Security Council resolutions, terrorist groups are Daesh, al-Nusra Front and various smaller organizations affiliated with them," he added.

    Russia and Turkey agree that opposition groups in Syria should make clear that they are not terrorists by withdrawing from areas controlled by extremist groups, Lavrov said. "Our Turkish colleagues confirmed today that they absolutely agree with this logic."

    "Those who don't want to get hit [by Russian and Syrian airstrikes] need to leave positions occupied by Jabhat al-Nusra and IS. If the patriotic opposition, constructive opposition remains in areas controlled by terrorists, it needs to withdraw its units. Otherwise it will be considered an accomplice."

    Cavusoglu agreed with his Russian counterpart, stating that he doubted the two countries had different opinions on the matter.

    "If these disagreements do exist, we need to meet and discuss them with our Russian colleagues," the Turkish minister said.

    Russia hopes that Moscow and Ankara would be able to achieve tangible results in resolving the Syrian crisis, including stemming the flow of terrorists along the Turkish-Syrian border, Lavrov said.

    "We can specifically discuss everything in the framework of our bilateral dialogue, even the most difficult issues, including the task of preventing the terrorist infiltration into Syria from abroad, the task of preventing the use of Turkish territory in support of terrorist organizations in Syria," Lavrov said.


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