Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, April 30th, 2017

Turkey, Russia Pledge to Boost Relations, but Syrian Crisis Remains Hurdle

Turkey, Russia Pledge to Boost Relations, but Syrian Crisis Remains Hurdle

ANKARA - Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a one-day visit on Friday in Moscow where he met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Both leaders announced that they were ready to strengthen ties in several fields and to overcome rifts but they still remain very divided on the most acute crisis in the middle east, Syria, according to local experts.
During a press conference after the meeting, Vladimir Putin said "we had a very trustful, very effective dialogue," while in turn, the Turkish leader expressed faith in continuing Turkish-Russian cooperation.
"As far as security matters in our region are concerned, I believe that it takes joint efforts to end bloodshed in Syria," said Erdogan.
The road to this point was long as the two leaders clashed repeatedly over the Syrian conflict and their different views on the fate of Moscow's ally, Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
First, there was the downing of a Russian jet by Turkey in November 2015 amid Moscow's intervention into Syria, a neighbour of NATO member Turkey.
Putin imposed travel and trade sanctions on Turkey in response. A failed coup in June 2016, however, changed things dramatically. The Russian leader expressed solidarity towards the Turkish regime. Following an apology by Erdogan over the jet incident, things seemed to go back on track.
"Actually only a small portion of the punitive Russian restrictions have been lifted. They are still out there," Deniz Zeyrek, a political commentator and journalist, told Xinhua. (Xinhua)