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Russia Sees Turkey Thaw Aiding Syria Deal as Lavrov, Kerry Meet

  • Russia welcomes Turkey-Iran contacts, Foreign Ministry says
  • Assad exit can’t be pre-condition for deal, Zakharova says
A Turkish army tank drives towards Syria in the Turkish-Syrian border city of Karkamis, in the southern region of Gaziantep on Aug. 24, 2016.

A Turkish army tank drives towards Syria in the Turkish-Syrian border city of Karkamis, in the southern region of Gaziantep on Aug. 24, 2016.

Photographer: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images
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Russia says a warming of its relations with Turkey may boost the search for peace in Syria as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hold talks in Geneva Friday on the conflict that’s killed more than 280,000 people.

“It’s a very important moment,” Maria Zakharova, the Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, said in an interview in Moscow Thursday before leaving with Lavrov for the talks. Turkey “is showing its interest in both the military and political sphere” in resolving the Syrian conflict and “when there’s a constructive dialogue then of course it always helps the situation to develop in a positive way. It’s a step in the right direction.”