Kremlin: Putin, Erdoğan discuss Syria, ready for political dialogue
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, September 23, 2015. REUTERS/Ivan Sekretarev/PoolThe Kremlin said on Nov. 4 that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have spoken on the phone to discuss the crisis in Syria, in light of last week’s international meetings in Vienna.
Russia said that both sides confirmed they were willing to continue political dialogue, though the Turkish president’s spokesperson, İbrahim Kalın, said on Nov. 4 that the Vienna talks were unable to resolve differences over the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“The two meetings [held in Vienna] were primarily about developing conditions for ensuring a political transition period in Syria, and of course transmitting humanitarian assistance to refugees,” Kalın said at a press conference.
“Although a consensus has been reached on this issue, differences of opinion on al-Assad’s future continue.
Our position on this issue, the position of Saudi Arabia, and the position of a lot of other regional countries, is clear. In the same way, a lot of French, American and British officials have also stated that al-Assad will not have a place in Syria’s future. Al-Assad has lost his characteristic of being a leader who unites Syria and can carry Syria to the future,” he added.
Meanwhile, anonymous sources from President Erdoğan’s office told the state-run Anadolu Agency that the Turkish president and Putin agreed that they would thoroughly discuss bilateral relations during an upcoming “high-level cooperation council” meeting in Russia in December, while also holding a face to face meeting later this month during the G-20 leaders’ summit in Antalya.