Vladimir Putin met in the Kremlin with President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is in Russia on a working visit.
The two leaders discussed the Syrian crisis and possible measures to settle it in the context of the recent aggravation in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
After the talks in resticted format, consultations continued with the participation of the delegations of the two countries, which included foreign and defence ministers.
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Beginning of Russian-Turkish talks in resticted format
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mr President.
Thank you for coming to Russia. As usual, we have things to discuss. The situation in the Idlib zone in Syria has deteriorated so much that we need to have a direct and personal discussion.
First of all, I would like to express our sincere condolences over the death of your military personnel in Syria. Loss of life is always a big tragedy.
Regrettably, as I have told you by telephone, nobody, including the Syrian military, was aware of your troops’ location. At the same time, there were casualties among Syrian servicemen as well. The Syrian army reported major losses.
Therefore, we need to discuss everything and analyse the current developments so that, first, this does not happen again and, second, that this does not damage Russian-Turkish relations, which I know that you value as well.
As you requested, we are ready to begin our talks one-on-one, and then our colleagues, who are with us in this room, will join us, if necessary.
Once again, welcome to Moscow.
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (retranslated): Yes, Mr President, I would like to also thank you for your welcome.
As you know, we were going to hold this meeting in Turkey but due to your ongoing work on constitutional amendments, we decided to accept your invitation and come here. Certainly, this meeting on Idlib talks is very important.
The situation in Idlib is indeed very tense. I know that the entire world is watching us today and I think that the action and decisions we take today will definitely have a mitigating effect.
This is a time when the relations between our countries have indeed reached a peak. Of course, this concerns the defence industry, trade and other areas; they continue developing.
We believe and say that we need to make progress in this area. In fact, this is our biggest task, to move forward and develop our relations. I believe we will succeed.
Once again, I would like to thank you for your welcome.