12:55 GMT15 July 2020
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call on Friday over the deaths of Turkish servicemen in war-torn Syria, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Turkish military said on Thursday that three Turkish soldiers were killed in an airstrike in northern Syria, although there were also reports claiming the servicemen were killed in a suicide bomb attack by Daesh terrorists.

    "Putin expressed condolences to Erdogan in connection with the death of Turkish servicemen on the Syrian territory," Peskov told reporters.

    "During the talks, the leaders discussed current issues of Russian-Turkish political and economic cooperation, including upcoming bilateral contacts at various levels," the Kremlin press service said in a statement earlier.

    According to the statement, Putin and Erdogan also exchanged views on ways to resolve the Syrian crisis.

    "It was agreed in particular to continue an active dialogue on behalf of the foreign, defense ministries and intelligence agencies of Russia and Turkey, aimed at ensuring a coordination of efforts in the fight against international terrorism," the statement noted.

    In November 2015, Turkey downed the Russian Su-24 plane, which was on an anti-terror mission over Syria. Following the incident, the relations between Russia and Turkey deteriorated, with Moscow demanding that Ankara should apologize for downing the plane and cover any associated material losses to the country and the pilot's family.

    Russia and Turkey launched reconciliation efforts in late June following Erdogan's apology for the November incident.


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