Putin and Erdogan to discuss coordinated action in Syria's de-escalation zones

Moscow and Ankara reaffirm their readiness to respect the Astana accords on the zones of de-escalation in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday after talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The two leaders hold a meeting at the presidential complex in capital Ankara, which lasted for about three hours. "We both agree on the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria", Erdogan said.

Turkey has denounced the September 25 nonbinding referendum in Iraq's Kurdish region and accused its leader, Masud Barzani, of "treachery" for pursuing the vote.

Russian President Vladmir Putin said that Ankara and Moscow would work to "deepen coordination" on ending the over six-year civil war in Syria.

On the Russian side, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, presidential aide Yuri Ushakov, energy minister Alexander Novak, chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, deputy minister of agriculture Yevgeny Gromyko, presidential envoy for the Syrian settlement Alexander Lavrentiev, the head of Gazprom Alexey Miller, head of Rosatom Alexei Likhachev, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Alexei Erkhov.

But Russia, Turkey, and Iran earlier this month agreed to create a "de-escalation zone" in Idlib, an area under the control of opposition forces in northern regions.

"The number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey this year rose 11 times, reaching more than 2.5 million people", Putin said, adding that it was due to series of high-level talks and consultations between officials of the two countries.

The two sides, however, have since established closer ties amid mounting tension in U.S.

The topic of S-400, Russia's most advanced missile systems which Ankara is planning to purchase, remains hotly-discussed in the media.

The deal, Turkey's most significant weapons purchase from a non-NATO supplier, has raised concerns in the West over technical compatibility with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation equipment.

  • Rogelio Becker