Conflicts in Syria focus of Erdoğan and Putin meeting

Published 13.11.2015 22:12
Updated 13.11.2015 22:14

President Erdoğan said in a recent interview with CNN that he will be discussing regional issues with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 Summit in Turkey's southern province of Antalya on Nov. 15-16.

During the interview, President Erdoğan commented on the Russian air strikes in Syria, saying that they create a security risk. Despite Turkey's good relations with Russia and efforts to communicate the risk to Moscow, the attacks have not ceased. Erdoğan also accused Russia of targeting moderate Syrian opposition during air strikes. Russia began carrying out airstrikes in Syria late in September. The strikes aim to support forces loyal to the Assad regime, a Russian ally. But Turkey and the West accuse Russia of targeting moderate Syrian groups opposed to Assad, many of which are supported by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the U.S. and Europe. President Erdoğan spoke with Putin last month over the phone and was informed about Assad's visit to Moscow. Erdoğan also expressed his concern over an expected refugee wave that could follow if Russia's air strikes continue, sources close to the president said.

According to reports Erdoğan underlined the importance Turkey attaches to fighting all terrorist groups including ISIS, pointing out the links between the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and the PKK, who have fought a decades-long insurgency against Turkey. The two leaders agreed to discuss all these issues in a detailed manner when they convene at the G20 Summit on Sunday.

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