Turkey, Russia and China to meet in trilateral leaders’ summit in Beijing
Erdinç Çelikkan - ANKARAThe leaders of Turkey, Russia and China will hold a trilateral summit in Beijing this weekend on the occasion of an international conference devoted to the revival of the historic Silk Road with the purpose of enhancing economic and trade cooperation, as well as discussing regional and global issues.
The trilateral summit will be held under the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the first such meeting of its kind, as all three men will be present at the Silk Road Economic Belt Conference alongside dozens of countries stretching from Asia to Eastern Europe on May 14 and 15.
Along with a number of cabinet ministers and high-level civil servants, Erdoğan will depart from Ankara to China early on May 12 for the roughly 13-hour flight to China.
Erdoğan will represent Turkey at the summit before making an address to attending leaders at a round-table meeting on the sidelines of the conference. Erdoğan will also hold a separate meeting with Xi before participating in a trilateral summit with Russian and Chinese leaders.
The three leaders will discuss recent developments in Syria amid efforts to expand the cease-fire between the regime and the opposition through the Astana Process in which Turkey, Russia and Iran are playing a very significant role. Both Russia and China are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and have not ceased their support for Syria’s leader, Bashar al-Assad, since unrest began in the country in early 2011.
Reviving the Silk Road
The Silk Road and Economic Belt conference is expected to produce an international agreement that will set the terms of the countries that will participate in the Silk Road project. Erdoğan is expected to sign the blueprint on behalf of Turkey at the conference.
The conference will host U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, IMF Director Christian Lagarde and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, as well as the heads of states of governments from 28 countries with more than 250 ministers. The meeting will be focused on enhancing economic, transportation, energy and other infrastructure cooperation between the participant countries with the idea of reviving the historic Silk Road. Erdoğan will hold bilateral talks with some participant leaders on the sidelines of the conference.
From China to the US
After concluding his talks in Beijing, the Turkish delegation under Erdoğan’s leadership will depart to Washington, where the Turkish president will hold his first in-person meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on May 16.
Following their Washington meeting, the two men will find another opportunity to continue their dialogue on May 24 and 25 on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels. Erdoğan and Trump will also attend a G-20 summit that will take place in Hamburg on July 7 and 8.