Nov 30, 1:54 PM EST

Russia, Turkey keep lines open on Syria amid competing goals

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MOSCOW (AP) -- The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin has had another telephone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, their third conversation in less than a week.

A terse statement by the Kremlin said the two leaders on Wednesday discussed developments in Syria, particularly the situation in Aleppo.

The conversation follows a speech Erdogan gave Tuesday in which he said that Turkish troops are in Syria to end Syrian President Bashar Assad's rule. Russia has backed Assad throughout Syria's civil war.

The normally warm ties between Russia and Turkey nosedived after a Turkish jet downed a Russian warplane at the Syrian border a year ago, but they recovered after Erdogan apologized in June.

Three Turkish soldiers were killed last week in what Ankara alleged was a Syrian government airstrike.

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