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Russia, Turkey Say Syria Truce Needed But Divisions Remain

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (left) shakes hands with Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Alanya, Turkey, on December 1.

Russia and Turkey say they agree on the need for a halt to fighting in Syria, but deep divisions remain between them over the conflict.

"A cease-fire must be achieved in all of Syria," notably in the northern city of Aleppo, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint news conference on December 1 with his visiting Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in the Mediterranean town of Alanya.

Cavusoglu said Ankara was in agreement with Moscow in broad terms on the need for a truce, humanitarian aid, and political transition, but insisted that Turkey's stance on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was unchanged.

Turkey backs rebels fighting to oust Assad, while Russia is a main backer of the Damascus regime.

Lavrov said the bloodshed in Syria must stop, that Moscow was ready to talk to all parties in the conflict, and that it would continue cooperating with Turkey.

But he also said Russia would continue its operations in Aleppo, where Syrian government forces have retaken more than a third of the rebel-held areas since the weekend.

Based on reporting by Reuters