Russian and Turkish military chiefs meet in Ankara

AP News
Posted: Sep 15, 2016 4:25 PM

ISTANBUL (AP) — The chief of the Russian military's general staff visited Turkey Thursday for talks with his counterpart about the situation in Syria.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia, and Turkish Gen. Hulusi Akar met at the Turkish General Staff headquarters in Ankara.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement Thursday night that the negotiations allowed the two military leaders "to bring the parties' assessments of the current situation in Syria and the measures necessary for upholding the cease-fire closer."

Russia and the United States brokered a cease-fire that took effect in Syria Monday evening and is meant to halt fighting between the U.S.-backed opposition and Syria's Russian-supported government.

Turkey and Russia experienced a roughly seven-month rupture in relations after Turkey shot down a Russian bomber in November just as tensions mounted over Moscow and Ankara backing opposing sides in the Syrian conflict. The rift was repaired soon after July's failed coup in Turkey.

The Russian Defense Ministry says Gerasimov and Akar reaffirmed a "shared desire to develop a dialogue and further cooperation between the two countries' militaries."