October 8, 2019 / 1:01 PM / 10 days ago

Russia, Turkey discuss northeast Syria amid tensions

FILE PHOTO: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the situation in northeast Syria with his Turkish counterpart by phone on Tuesday, the foreign ministry said, amid tensions over a possible Turkish military operation there.

Russia, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has emerged as a leading power broker in Syria over more than eight years of civil war and has said that Syria’s territorial integrity must be respected by all outside powers.

A Russian foreign ministry statement released no details of the conversation on northeast Syria, but said the two ministers agreed to continue close dialogue.

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh and Maria Kiselyova; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Catherine Evans

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