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Erdoğan: Turkish, Russian Steps to Change Destiny of Whole Region

admin | 03 Mayıs 2017 | Son dakika

Steps to be taken by Ankara and Moscow are capable of changing the future of the Middle East, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on May 3 during a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

“Today we have a very good chance to discuss both our bilateral relations and regional issues. We have very serious work on our shoulders, a very big responsibility. I am sure that the steps we take together will change the destiny of the whole region,” Erdoğan said at a meeting with Putin.

The Russian president also said relations between Ankara and Moscow are attaining a “special status” as they are fully restored.

“It is very good that we have an opportunity to have an official meeting, discussing the key issues of bilateral interactions, and discussing the main issues of the international agenda, including on such urgent ones as the Syrian crisis … The very fact of our joint work shows that the Russian-Turkish relations are attaining a special character, a special status, and are being fully restored,” Putin said.

Following a meeting between delegations of the two sides, the two leaders are expected to hold a press meeting.

Ahead of his departure, Erdoğan had said he would tell the Russians that he wanted Russian trade restrictions on Turkey lifted rapidly.

“Neither Turkey nor Russia has any second to waste with red tape,” he said before departing to Sochi, referring to Russian restrictions on Turkish export goods.

If the two countries aim to reach a trade volume of $100 billion then they should be in a “constructive and encouraging effort,” Erdoğan added.

Moscow imposed sanctions, particularly on some agricultural goods, after Turkey shot down a Russian plane in 2014. Mutual steps were taken in the process of normalization, but Russia has not removed obstacles in front of many agricultural products exported from Turkey. Ankara, in response, removed Russia from the list of countries that could export wheat, corn and sunflower oil to Turkey free of charge.

Meanwhile, Erdoğan also stated that Ankara and Moscow attach great importance to “strengthening” a cease-fire in Syria and will continue to work together to try and end the conflict.

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,” he said.

“We are engaged in a productive cooperation in Syria. We have jointly taken several steps that led to new hopes for a political solution,” Erdoğan added.

The Syrian government and the opposition are resuming cease-fire talks in the Kazakh capital, Astana, on May 3.

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