THE leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey have met in Ankara for talks on resolving the conflict in Syria.

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vladimir Putin of Russia and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani were holding their second summit to discuss Syria’s future since attending a similar meeting in Sochi, Russia, in November.

The leaders meeting in the Turkish capital are expected to reaffirm their commitment to Syria’s territorial integrity and the continuation of local ceasefires.

Talks are also expected to include the issues of border security, the distribution of humanitarian aid and drawing up a constitution for the country.

Russia and Iran have provided crucial support to president Bashar Assad’s forces, while Turkey has backed the rebels seeking to overthrow him.

The three nations have sponsored several rounds of talks between the Syrian government and the opposition, and brokered local truces in four areas, helping to reduce hostilities.

Meanwhile, the Russian defence ministry and Syrian rebels struck a deal on Sunday for the Army of Islam, the biggest opposition group in the Damascus suburbs of eastern Ghouta, to leave the area for the rebel-controlled north.

The rebels were still leaving the town of Douma, but the evacuation was expected to wrap up in the coming days, concluding a brutal government offensive which killed hundreds of Syrians.