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story.lead_photo.caption United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen, center, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, second from right, enter a hall during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Friday, July 5, 2019. Pedersen voiced hope that cooperation between Russia and Turkey will help stabilize the situation in Syria's northwestern provice of Idlib. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

MOSCOW -- The U.N.'s special envoy for Syria on Friday urged Russia to help stabilize the violence in northwestern Idlib province and support drafting the nation's new constitution.

During talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Geir Pedersen voiced hope that Russia and Turkey could help reduce tensions in Idlib.

"It's a very difficult situation," he said. "And I hope that the cooperation between Russia and Turkey will help to stabilize the situation in Idlib."

Russia and Turkey have closely coordinated their actions in Syria, signing a de-escalation deal for Idlib, the last major rebel stronghold in Syria's eight-year civil war. That deal has been tested by increased fighting, raising the prospect of a government offensive and a major humanitarian crisis.

Pedersen said he would travel to Syria early next week for talks on forming a constitutional committee.

A Section on 07/06/2019

Print Headline: U.N. envoy urges Russia to help in Syria

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