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the latest: turkey defends russia ties despite syria strikes

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the latest: turkey defends russia ties despite syria strikes

beirut — the latest on developments following the u.s.-led airstrikes on syria (all times local):3:55 p.m.turkey's foreign minister has rejected a claim by france's president that the weekend's airstrikes on syria have driven a wedge between turkey and russia.mevlut cavusoglu said on monday that turkey was cooperating with russia and iran to try and reduce the conflict in syria despite long-standing disagreement with them over their support to syrian president bashar assad.he says that turkey's "ties with russia are not weak enough to be driven apart by the french president. we have strong ties with russia" and added that the "relations with russia aren't an alternative to our relations with nato, or with france or the united states."cavusgolu was speaking during a joint news conference with nato's secretary general jens stoltenberg.turkey has backed the saturday airstrikes in syria by the united states, france and britain.___2:55 p.m.nato secretary general jens stoltenberg has defended the weekend's airstrikes in syria, saying the international community had to uphold the international ban on the use of chemical weapons.stoltenberg spoke at a joint news conference with turkey's foreign minister on monday, after airstrikes by the united states, france and britain that hit syria.he says russia had "again and again" prevented an independent investigation by the u.n. and that this left "nato allies no other alternative than to act the way they acted."he says th...