Turkey, Iran, Russia say will work for stability in Syria

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey, Iran and Russia pledged on Wednesday to accelerate efforts to bring stability to Syria, underlining their joint commitment to the country a day after President Donald Trump raised the prospect of withdrawing U.S. troops.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey April 4, 2018. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

A statement by the three countries after a summit meeting in the Turkish capital Ankara said they were determined to “speed up their efforts to ensure calm on the ground” in Syria.

While their decision to work together has done little to reduce violence in Syria, in part because of their own military interventions on opposing sides, it underlined their central role just as questions grow over Washington’s commitment.

A senior U.S. official said on Wednesday Trump wanted U.S. forces out of Syria relatively soon. “We’re not going to immediately withdraw but neither is the president willing to back a long-term commitment,” the official said.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey April 4, 2018. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

Around 2,000 U.S. troops are deployed in northern Syria on a mission to battle the remnants of an Islamic State force that once controlled the area.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said…

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