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Russia, Turkey, European Leaders Meet In Istanbul For Syria Summit

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Russia, Turkey, European Leaders Meet In Istanbul For Syria Summit
Russia and Turkey have previously collaborated to set up a buffer zone around rebel-held Idlib.
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The leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Turkey convened in Istanbul Saturday for a summit on the Syrian Civil War. 

The summit is aimed at addressing a number of aspects of the war, including the negotiation of a permanent ceasefire. Nevertheless, senior officials from several of the participating countries played down expectations ahead of the meeting. 

The day before the summit, shelling in rebel-held Idlib reportedly killed at least seven civilians. That's despite a buffer zone and ceasefire Turkey and Russia negotiated around the region in September.

Both Turkey and Russia have reportedly pressured EU countries to help foot the bill of reconstruction in Syria after the war ends. Germany and France have been deeply critical of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who has faced repeated accusations of war crimes. Russia supports Assad.

Several previous summits have failed to produce lasting agreements between the Syrian government and opposition forces. 

Additional reporting by Newsy affiliate CNN