Syria, Jerusalem to be on agenda in Putin’s visit to Turkey


Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit Ankara today to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss regional issues, including the recent White House decision on Jerusalem, the latest developments in Syria and bilateral ties.

Last week, Erdoğan and Putin had a phone conversation over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, during which presidential sources said both leaders expressed concern. Yesterday, President Erdoğan also confirmed that they would discuss the Jerusalem issue.

Moscow has said that the Jerusalem move will be a roadblock in the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has complicated the situation in the Middle East and is causing a split in the international community, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last week.

According to presidential sources, Erdoğan will also discuss the intense diplomatic traffic Turkey has followed on Jerusalem, the steps that will be taken, bilateral trade, and defense and energy ties.

Turkey and Russia are also cooperating with Iran to lead peace efforts in Syria as part of the Astana process. The two leaders last met in the Russian city of Sochi on the issue.

Turkey, Russia and Iran held a series of intense meetings in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana and Sochi, during which de-escalation zones in Syria were created between the opposition and Syrian regime forces. Additionally, Turkey deployed troops as part of the monitoring force in the designated zones.

Turkish-Russian ties were severely strained in November 2015 after a Russian jet was downed by the Turkish Air Forces. However, relations have fully recovered via diplomacy and frequent meetings between President Erdoğan and President Putin.

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