Russian President Vladimir Putin sends New Years’ greetings to Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Russia and Turkey have created conditions for launching the political settlement of the Syrian conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday.

“By working closely together our countries have succeeded in preventing the terrorist threat from spreading further across the Middle East,” Putin said in a New Year’s greeting message to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to a Kremlin statement.

“In the outgoing year Russia and Turkey not only succeeded in putting their bilateral relations back on track, but also achieved substantial progress in enhancing their bilateral cooperation in many areas.

“In addition, Vladimir Putin confirmed his interest in continued constructive dialogue and proactive engagement on all matters on the bilateral, regional and international agendas,” the statement added.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN officials.

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