Putin and Erdogan agree on need to boost efforts for Syria peace

Putin and Erdogan agree on need to boost efforts for Syria peace

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands during a previous meeting in Ankara in September.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed Monday on the need to boost efforts to achieve a lasting political settlement in Syria.

Despite being on opposing sides of the Syrian conflict, Russia and Turkey have been working together since a 2016 reconciliation deal ended a crisis caused by the shooting down of a Russian warplane.

During four hours of talks at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, in southwest Russia, the two sides agreed on the need to do more to stabilise Syria, Putin said.

“We are united in the need to increase efforts to ensure the long-term stabilisation (of Syria), above all to advance the process of a political settlement,” the Russian leader told reporters after the meeting.

“We agreed that there is now a base which allows us to focus on the political process,” said Erdogan.

The pair last met in Ankara in September, when they agreed to push for the creation of a “de-escalation” zone in Syria’s key northern province of Idlib, in addition to others already proposed.

“Our relationship has been restored almost to its full capacity,” Putin said ahead of the talks, adding that he was glad to see the Turkish leader.

– ‘Mutual need’ –

Their efforts have helped bring about a de-escalation of violence in parts of Syria, though fighting continues.


AFP, Daily Mail.