Erdogan, Putin to meet in Turkey this week on Iraq, Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Ankara to meet his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan as relations between the two states continue to thaw.

Erdogan's office said in a September 27 statement that the two are expected to discuss bilateral relations "as well as regional and global matters, particularly Syria and Iraq". Russian Federation and Iran are backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the conflict, while Turkey and the United States are supporting various rebel groups opposed to Assad's rule.

Erdoğan said Ankara was pleased that trade volume between the two countries has risen by 22 percent so far this year, reiterating that Turkey and Russian Federation aimed to reach $100-billion trade in the near future. "The necessary conditions have been created for putting an end to the fratricidal war in Syria, completely destroying terrorists and allowing Syrians to return to peaceful life".

Speaking at a news conference after talks in Ankara with Erdogan, Putin did not set out his view on the referendum.

Turkey, which is battling a more than three-decade old Kurdish insurgency in Iraq, strongly opposes an Iraqi Kurdish referendum for independence.

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Erdogan underlined the need to prevent "even more serious mistakes", adding that "it's important that the worldwide community sides with Iraq's territorial integrity and political unity".

The two Presidents will discuss the situation in Syria.

Relations between Moscow and Ankara soured after a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian warplane on the Syrian border in late 2015.

The S-400 surface-to-air missiles deal that Moscow and Ankara signed this month is seen as a snub to Turkey's Western NATO allies.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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