Europe

The Latest: Turkey looks to strengthen Syria cease-fire

The Latest on the Syrian conflict (all times local):

Noon

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey and Russia attach great importance to "strengthening" a cease-fire in Syria and will continue to work together to try and end the conflict.

Erdogan spoke in Ankara on Wednesday before his departure for Russia for talks with President Vladimir Putin on bilateral economic ties and the situation in Syria.

The Turkish leader said the two countries' aim for Syria was "to stop the bloodshed as soon as possible, to protect the country's territorial unity and (find) a political solution."

Erdogan said: "We are engaged in a productive cooperation in Syria. We jointly took several steps that led to new hopes for a political solution."

The Syrian government and the opposition are resuming cease-fire talks in the Kazakh capital, Astana, on Wednesday.

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10:15 a.m.

Syrian activists say a large explosion in a northern town along the border with Turkey has killed at least four people and wounded many others.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the death toll in the town of Azaz is likely to climb after Wednesday's blast.

Both the Observatory and the activist-run Revolutionary Forces of Syria media office say the explosion is believed to have been caused by a car bomb. Images posted online by the activist-run Azaz Media Center showed a burnt out car and a fire in the area.