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Turkish Army Chief Visits Moscow To Discuss Military Cooperation


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) greets the head of the Turkish Armed Forces General Staff, General Hulusi Akar, in Ankara in July.

The head of the Turkish Armed Forces General Staff, General Hulusi Akar, held talks on November 1 in Moscow with his Russian counterpart, General Valery Gerasimov.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the generals "exchanged opinions on the situation in northern Syria" and events along the Syrian-Iraqi border in light of the effort to dislodge Islamic State forces from the Iraqi city of Mosul.

It added that Akar and Gerasimov also talked about ways to normalize the situation in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo.

Turkey's Armed Forces said in a statement before the talks that Akar was discussing potential military cooperation with Russia as well as "the situation in the Middle East."

Both Turkey and Russia have military forces involved in combat operations in Syria and Turkey has a small force in northern Iraq that is training Kurdish Peshmerga forces, a presence that has angered Iraqi officials.

Relations between Ankara and Moscow deteriorated after a Turkish warplane in October 2015 shot down a Russian fighter jet near Turkey's border with Syria.

But relations have improved since an attempted coup in July by Turkey's military against Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In September, Gerasimov visited Ankara for talks with Akar about bilateral military ties.

With reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and RIA
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