| 2 December 2023, Saturday |

Erdogan says Turkey-Russia delegation meetings fruitful

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he will discuss the situation in Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Russia on Friday.

Before their talks in the Black Sea city of Sochi, Erdogan said past contacts between Turkish and Russian teams on political, economic, and trade issues had been productive. Erdogan was seated across from Putin.

Their meeting, less than three weeks since they held talks in Tehran, comes after Turkey helped broker a deal to resume Ukraine’s Black Sea grain exports which were blocked by Russia’s invasion.

“Our meeting will be completed and open a very different page in Turkey-Russia relations,” Erdogan said in comments broadcast on Turkish television.

He did not mention Ukraine. But he said he believed their talks on Syria “will bring further relief to the region”.

Erdogan has threatened to order new military operations in Syria to extend 30-km (20-mile) deep “safe zones” on the border.

Turkey backs fighters in Syria who have fought against President Bashar al-Assad, who is in turn supported by Russia. Ankara’s operations in northern Syria have largely targeted a Kurdish militia which it views as a terrorist group.

Earlier, Erdogan’s communications director Fahrettin Altun said the international community could not end the war in Ukraine by ignoring Moscow.

  • Reuters