Erdogan, a one-time ally of Damascus, has called Assad "a bloody dictator"
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the lawmakers of his Justice and Development Party at the parliament in Ankara on June 26. Erdogan leaves for Russia next Wednesday to discuss the developments in Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin, his office announced Thursday. © Adem Altan - AFP/File
Erdogan, a one-time ally of Damascus, has called Assad
AFP
Last updated: July 12, 2012

Turkey's Erdogan to visit Russia for Syria talks

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan leaves for Russia next Wednesday to discuss the developments in Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin, his office announced Thursday.

"Significant regional and international developments led by Syria are on the table to be discussed thoroughly," during Erdogan's visit, the written statement said.

The talks are a new link in the chain of effective dialogue at the highest level between Turkey and Russia, the statement added.

Ankara and Moscow remain at odds regarding the armed conflict between President Bashar al-Assad's regime and the opposition that has claimed 17,000 lives since mid-March last year according to rights monitors.

Erdogan's one-day visit comes after Ankara clashed with Damascus over the downing of a Turkish warplane on June 22 by Syrian fire over the Mediterranean and the death of its two crew.

Turkey viewed the incident as a hostile act and has taken steps to fortify its border with Syria, while Russian media outlets, citing unnamed Russian officials, placed the blame on the "provocative" Turkish fighter.

Erdogan, a one-time ally of Damascus, has called Assad "a bloody dictator" and called on him to step down, as Moscow continues to stand by the Syrian regime.

Turkey shelters more than 37,000 refugees on its side of the border with Syria, where rebel forces made up of Syrian army defectors are also based.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Stay Connected
twitter icon Twitter 13,558 linkedin icon LinkedIn 463
facebook icon Facebook 87,173 google+ icon Google+ 272