May 15, 2019 / 10:51 AM / 4 months ago

Erdogan and Putin agree to convene working group on Syria soon - Turkish minister

FILE PHOTO: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, May 2, 2019. Fatih Aktas/Turkish Foreign Ministry/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have agreed that a working group on Syria’s northwest should convene as soon as possible, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.

A recent offensive targeting Syria’s Idlib and surrounding areas by the Syrian army and its allies, backed by Russia, has uprooted more than 150,000 people, the United Nations says, while rescue workers and civil defence officials say more than 120 civilians have been killed.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that attacks by Syrian government forces were damaging prospects of forming a U.N.-sponsored committee to draft a new Syrian constitution.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Writing by Sarah Dadouch; Editing by Dominic Evans

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