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Ankara 'Makes Three Important Steps' Toward Thaw With Moscow

Sputnik News

19:50 16.06.2016(updated 20:25 16.06.2016)

According to Turkish newspaper Habertürk, over the last week Ankara made three important steps toward the improvement of political, economic and cultural ties with Russia.

The steps include a letter from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the occasion of Russia's national holiday in which he expressed hope for good bilateral relations as well as the appointment of a new Turkish ambassador to Moscow, the newspaper wrote.

"Due to the tensions in relations between the two countries, the leaders had not met face to face and had not sent congratulatory letters to each other," the newspaper wrote, implying that Erdogan's letter might be considered a sign of his readiness for reconciliation.

Earlier, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also sent a similar congratulatory message to Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in which he expressed hope that, "in the near future, cooperation and relations between the two countries will reach a level that is essential for the common interests of our peoples."

Another important step, according to the newspaper, was the appointment of the new ambassador to Moscow, Hüseyin Diriöz.

"The appointment of a new ambassador to Moscow is being viewed as 'a new start in relations with Russia'," the newspaper noted.

And last, but not least: Russia's ambassador to Ankara, Andrew Karlov, organized a big event at the Russian Embassy in Turkey last week. The event was attended by the assistant of a Turkish Foreign Minister Deputy and three CEOs as well as representatives of the Turkish military.

"This year, in an interview with reporters Russian Ambassador to Ankara Karlov expressed his satisfaction with the level of participation and made it clear: 'Our relations are important,'" the article said.

Turkish-Russian relations deteriorated after a Turkish F-16 fighter downed a Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria on November 24, 2015. The jet was carrying out anti-terrorist operations in Syria. The crew of the plane ejected and one of the pilots, Oleg Peshkov, was killed by ground fire, while the second pilot survived.

Moscow imposed a number of restrictive measures on Turkey in response to what Russian President Vladimir Putin classified as a "stab in the back."
Russian authorities have repeatedly stressed that Moscow expects Ankara to apologize for the downing of the Su-24, as well as to explain the incident.

Sputnik



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