By Vugar Khalilov
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have discussed regional security issues at a meeting in Russia's Sochi, Yeni Shafak newspaper reported on September 30.
“The steps we take together regarding Syria are of great importance. The peace of that region also depends on Turkish-Russian relations,” Erdogan stated before the two-hour and 45-minute meeting.
Both leaders evaluated the discussions as productive, useful, and inclusive following the meeting and Putin thanked his Turkish counterpart for the visit.
The recent developments in Syria topped the meeting agenda. The sides discussed strengthening security measures with regard to the Turkish observation points in Syra’s Idlib region, ending the PKK presence in Tel Rifat and Manbij in line with the Astana agreements, and the need to fulfill as soon as possible the decision to remove the terrorist elements 30 km to the south based on an agreement reached in the east of the Euphrates.
Furthermore, the presidents focused on taking a joint step in the fight against ISIS, resolving the Syrian refugee problem, and preventing PKK attacks from the Russian-controlled areas.
“The steps we take together regarding Syria are of great importance. The peace there also depends on relations between Turkey and Russia. In particular, I believe that there are great benefits in our continuing Turkish-Russian relations by getting stronger every day,” Erdogan said before the meeting.
President Erdogan thanked Putin for his support during the fires and disasters.
Speaking about the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant Erdogan said: “I think we will be able to inaugurate the first unit next year. There is intense work. Currently, 13,000 people work here, 10,000 of whom are Turks and 3,000 are Russians, but almost all of them received education in Russia. This, of course, leads to the strengthening of relations between us.”
Commenting on America’s objections to Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 air defence systems from Russia, Erdogan stressed that Turkey could not step back from this cooperation.
Following the meeting, Putin briefly stated that despite the 1.5-year pause in their face-to-face meetings, the leaders are in constant contact.
“I am very pleased with the intensive and positive development of our bilateral relations and our relevant institutions and organizations in all directions are in constant contact,” Putin stressed.
Stating that there was a significant decrease of 20 percent in the bilateral Russian-Turkish trade volume last year, Putin stressed a 55-cent rise in bilateral trade in the first eight months of 2021.
Commenting on the international cooperation between Russia and Turkey, Putin said: “Our cooperation [with Turkey] continues successfully in the international arena. Here, I mean our attitudes towards both Syria and Libya."
He added that the Russian-Turkish ceasefire control center, which is actively operating in Azerbaijan's Aghdam region, to observe truce violations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, is an important element both in achieving a ceasefire and in achieving a stronger and lasting peace in the future.
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As a result of the agreement reached in the east of the Euphrates