We all want to restart dia­logue, Putin tells Er­do­gan

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

RUS­SIAN Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin met with his Turk­ish coun­ter­part Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan in Saint Peters­burg yes­ter­day, a sign of nor­mal­i­sa­tion of re­la­tions that soured af­ter the shoot­ing down of a Rus­sian war­plane by a Turk­ish jet last Novem­ber.

Pres­i­dent Putin said the visit shows the de­sire to “re­store dia­logue, re­la­tions” be­tween Moscow and Ankara.

“Your visit to­day, de­spite a very dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion re­gard­ing do­mes­tic pol­i­tics, in­di­cates that we all want to restart dia­logue and re­store re­la­tions be­tween Rus­sia and Turkey,” Putin stated.

The visit was the first meet­ing be­tween the two heads of state since re­la­tions broke down over the shoot­ing down of the Rus­sian air­craft over Syria in 2015. It was also Er­do­gan’s first for­eign trip since the failed coup in Turkey on July 15.

Putin also stated that he was one of the first for­eign lead­ers to have a tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion with Er­do­gan of­fer­ing sup­port af­ter the abortive coup.

“I know that I was one of the first who called you to express sup­port re­gard­ing the cri­sis,” Putin said. “I want to say once again that this is our prin­ci­pled po­si­tion, we are against any un­con­sti­tu­tional ac­tions.”

Er­do­gan said the Turk­ish peo­ple were “happy” that Putin had ex­pressed his sup­port fol­low­ing the at­tempted coup. The Turk­ish pres­i­dent also ex­pected the two coun­tries to “en­ter into a very dif­fer­ent phase with the steps we will take and have taken.”

The Turk­ish pres­i­dent ear­lier said in an in­ter­view with Rus­sian me­dia that Ankara is ready to re­set re­la­tions with Moscow.

While Ankara is ap­par­ently ea­ger to im­prove ties with Moscow, Rus­sia has main­tained a more re­served ap­proach.

Last Novem­ber, the Turk­ish mil­i­tary shot down a Rus­sian Su-24 air­craft dur­ing an anti-ter­ror mis­sion in the Syr­ian skies near the Turk­ish bor­der.

Ankara claimed that the Rus­sian jet had vi­o­lated its airspace de­spite re­peated warn­ings. Moscow, how­ever, re­jected the al­le­ga­tion, say­ing the air­craft re­mained in the Syr­ian skies through­out its mis­sion and re­ceived no warn­ings from the Turk­ish mil­i­tary.

In re­sponse, Rus­sia im­posed a se­ries of sanc­tions against Turkey, say­ing the bans would not be lifted un­til Moscow re­ceived an apol­ogy from Ankara.

Putin and Er­do­gan held a tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion in late June and agreed to meet in per­son.

The call came af­ter the Krem­lin said Putin had re­ceived a let­ter from Er­do­gan, in which he had apol­o­gised to his Rus­sian coun­ter­part over the in­ci­dent.

The meet­ing comes against the back­drop of grow­ing ten­sions be­tween the West and Ankara over Turkey’s crack­down fol­low­ing the failed coup.— Press. TV.

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