During a limited format meeting, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed key aspects of bilateral cooperation in the trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian areas, as well as issues pertaining to a Syrian settlement. Afterward, the talks continued with the participation of members of the delegations.
The heads of state held a joint news conference upon the completion of the talks.
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The beginning of the meeting with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President,
I am pleased to welcome you here in Moscow.
We continue our practice of regular meetings, consultations and exchange of views, and I should note that this is yielding positive results.
In the first 10 months of 2018, bilateral trade grew more than in the entire previous year. The number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey last year rose by 30 percent to an all-time high of six million.
This goes to show how the citizens of our countries perceive the change in the nature and quality of Russian-Turkish relations.
Mr President, my dear friend, the credit for this largely goes to you personally. It is your personal achievement, because you devote significant attention to this matter.
Major joint projects are being implemented, and everything is going according to plan.
Of course, we also deal with regional security and cooperate extensively on Syria.
Welcome, I am happy to see you.
President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (retranslated): My dear friend, after the frequent meetings that you and I had in 2018, this will be our first meeting in 2019.
Indeed, our relations are expanding in many spheres, including culture, military and trade.
Undoubtedly, the fact that our relations are expanding is having a ripple effect on regional security. No doubt, our solidarity is making a significant contribution to regional security.
We held trilateral summits in Sochi, Tehran and Ankara as part of the Astana process, which have made a great contribution to promoting this process, and I believe our meeting will also be beneficial for it.
Our expanding relations in tourism show that our respective countries and peoples continue to strengthen their ties.
As you have noted, our trade relations are on the rise, and this trend will continue into the future. During our meetings, you set the goal of taking our trade to the $100 billion mark.
I would also like to take this opportunity to express my condolences to the families of those who died in the collision of two ships in the Kerch Strait. It is well known that 16 Turkish citizens died in this accident.
Thank you very much, Mr Putin, for your sympathetic approach to this matter.
(Speaking Russian) Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: I want to express my condolences on the deaths of those Turkish citizens.
The incident occurred outside our territorial sea in neutral waters as fuel was being pumped from one ship to another.
Indeed, our first responders acted promptly and did their best to save the people. Still, it is a major tragedy for the victims’ families and the people who were injured.
Please accept my condolences.