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Erdoğan, Putin hold bilateral meeting in capital Ankara ahead of trilateral summit on Syria

Erdoğan and Putin shake hands as they inspect an honour guard during a welcome ceremony. [AP Photo]

Meeting with his counterpart ahead of a on , Recep Tayyip Erdogan received Vladimir Putin at the in the Turkish capital Ankara for a closed-door meeting that lasted around one-and-a-half hours.

's on Monday met his Russian counterpart in the capital Ankara ahead of a trilateral summit on .

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received Vladimir Putin at the Çankaya Palace for a closed-door meeting that lasted around one-and-a-half hours.

Turkish leader has discussed the situation in Syria's Idlib region with Vladimir Putin.

The trilateral summit in the Turkish capital Ankara will focus on the Idlib region, the last remaining territory held by rebels seeking to overthrow Bashar al-Assad.

Later in the day, the presidents -- to be joined by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani --will gather for the fifth summit on Syria in the Astana format where they will discuss the latest developments in the northwestern Idlib city, the voluntary return of and political solution to the Syrian turmoil.

The Astana peace process -- seeking to end the Syrian conflict -- was launched in January 2017 upon the initiatives of Turkey, , and Iran. A total of 13 rounds have been conducted in Astana, Kazakhstan so far.

Turkey and Russia agreed last September to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

The Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the .

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