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Ankara Building 'Strong Mechanism' For Cooperation With Russia On Syria

August 10, 2016

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on August 10 that Ankara and Moscow share similar views on the need for a cease-fire in Syria, the provision of humanitarian aid, and a political solution to end the Syrian war.

He said Turkey and Russia are building a "strong mechanism" for cooperation on Syria.

Cavusoglu made the remarks a day after a meeting in St. Petersburg between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He said a delegation from Turkey's Foreign Ministry was continuing talks with Russian officials on August 10.

Russia supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while Turkey opposes the Syrian leader.

Russia and Turkey have also been at loggerheads since Ankara downed a Russian warplane near Turkey's border with Syria in 2015.

But Erdogan and Putin on August 9 vowed to rebuild ties between their countries.

Cavusoglu said improving ties with Russia was not meant as a message to Ankara's Western allies.

Turkey has been criticized by the European Union and Washington over Erdogan's crackdown on his political opponents after a failed coup in July.

Cavusoglu said on August 10 that the EU criticism was a serious mistake and that support for Turkey's EU membership bid was declining among the Turkish people as a result.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and Anadolu

Source: cooperation-russia-syria/27912605.html

Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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