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President Erdoğan, Putin discuss 'humanitarian tragedy' in Aleppo over phone

DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
ISTANBUL
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President Erdoğan (R) and his Russian counterpart Putin give news conference following their meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, October 10, 2016. (AP Photo)
President Erdoğan (R) and his Russian counterpart Putin give news conference following their meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, October 10, 2016. (AP Photo)

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed the 'humanitarian tragedy' in Aleppo with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin by phone for the third time in a week on Wednesday, and agreed on the need for a ceasefire, presidential sources said.

The sources said that both presidents agreed that aid efforts for the embattled city should be sped up and agreed on intensifying efforts towards a cessation of hostilities.

Located 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Turkish border, Aleppo is Syria's second-largest city that used to be home to around three million people, mainly Arabs, including 400,000 Turkmens and 200,000 Kurds.

A year after the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011, opposition forces took control of the city's eastern districts.

In 2013, the Assad regime began a campaign of indiscriminate bombardment on the city that has triggered a humanitarian crisis in the war-battered city.

The previous calls between the two leaders had covered bilateral ties as well as a "resolution to the Syrian conflict", notably the possibility of "coordinated efforts in the fight against terrorism".

Relations between the two countries hit a low after Turkey downed a Russian warplane for violating its airspace near the Syrian border on Nov. 24 last year. In response, the Russian government announced sanctions on Turkey, including a ban on exports. The normalization process, which began in June, has paved the way for the lifting of sanctions.

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