Saturday, 25 November, 2017

Pull your troops out of war-torn Syria, Erdogan tells US, Russia

Mikhail Dzhaparidze  TASS Mikhail Dzhaparidze TASS
Melinda Barton | 14 November, 2017, 12:24

Putin opened Monday's meeting at Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi by saying that relations Moscow and Ankara have been "restored practically in full".

The solidarity of Turkey and Russian Federation in resolving regional crises further strengthens the relations between the two countries, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

"We've discussed joint steps with Russian Federation", he said at Istanbul's airport before traveling to Sochi.

"Then a political method should be sought in Syria, ways to head into elections should be examined".

The two countries' cooperation on Syria helped restore bilateral trade and the flow of Russian tourists to Turkey, which were halted in the wake of the 2015 plane incident.

"I would like to note with satisfaction that our joint work with Turkey and Iran as guarantors of the "Astana process" continues to yield concrete results". Asked if the two discussed Erdogan's earlier comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the talks were about more complex issues which could not be made public, according to RIA news agency.

- US and Russian Federation recently said that the crisis in Syria can not be solved by military action.

Turkey will take the steps necessary to protect itself, Erdogan said after unscheduled meetings with the army chief, prime minister and foreign minister over the weekend. The U.S. -led coalition says it does not discuss the location of its forces.

Moscow has deployed military force in Syria to support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey has backed elements within the armed Syrian opposition.