Erdoğan discusses developments in NE Syria, bilateral relations with Putin in phone call

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a phone call with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss developments in Syria on Saturday evening.

The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the Sochi agreement reached during high-level talks on Oct. 22.

Erdoğan and Putin also discussed steps to be taken to improve bilateral relations and increase trade volume.

On Oct. 22, Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists were to pull back 30 kilometers south of Turkey's border with Syria within 150 hours, and security forces from Turkey and Russia would mount joint patrols there.

The first round of patrols was conducted 40 kilometers east of Ras al-Ayn and 30 kilometers west of Qamishli on Nov. 1. A second and third round were completed last week.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union, has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.

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