Iran, Russia and Turkey plan Syria’s future as Trump seeks an exit

The leaders of Iran, Russia and Turkey met Wednesday for high-level talks on ending the Syrian war, cementing their influence on the outcome of the conflict and isolating the United States from the region’s most crucial diplomacy.

The three presidents — Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Iran’s Hassan Rouhani and Russia’s Vladimir Putin — gathered in the Turkish capital, Ankara, where they pledged to cooperate on reconstruction and aid. They also vowed to protect Syria’s “territorial integrity,” even as all three nations maintain a military presence inside the country. The leaders called for more support from the international community and emphasized their opposition to “separatist agendas” in Syria.

“The future of Syria and our region cannot be left to a few terrorists,” Erdogan said at a news conference marking the end of the summit. Turkish troops have fought the Islamic State in Syria, as well as Kurdish militias, which Turkey sees as linked to Kurdish separatists at home.

“Without peace in Syria, there cannot be peace in Turkey,” he said. “There is a difficult road ahead.”

But the three nations conferred against a backdrop of rising tensions between them and the United States, which also maintains a military presence in Syria. It was the second time that Erdogan, Putin and Rouhani have met in recent months to

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