The presidents of Iran, Turkey and Russia meet for Syrian summit

Iran, Turkey and Russia meet over Syria for second time in six months
Iran, Turkey and Russia meet over Syria for second time in six months
By Mark Armstrong with AFP
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It is the second time the three countries have met over Syria in the past six months


The presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran met in the Turkish capital Ankara on Wednesday

for the second time in six months.

Their stated aim is to speed up the peace process for Syria but analysts say it is also to extend their influence in the war-torn country.

Hassan Rouhani, Tayyip Erdogan, and Vladimir Putin have given their backing to peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana, which they are putting forward as a parallel process to UN-sponsored talks in Geneva.

Hours before the summit U.S. President Donald Trump said he wanted to bring American troops home from Syria and implied that that could happen very soon.

After bilateral talks with Putin, Erdogan said Turkey and Russia would continue their cooperation and focus on common interests in Syria.

Turkey hosts over 3.5 million Syrian refugees and Ankara is keen to avoid a further influx ahead of elections in 2019.

For the Syrian people, peace is a matter of urgency.

More than 340,000 people have been killed since the war began following anti-government protests in 2011.

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