Russian FM’s visit to focus on Syria crisis

Russian FM’s visit to focus on Syria crisis

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Russian FM’s visit to focus on Syria crisis

US Secretary of State Kerry (R) and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov (L) speak following the family photo during the G8 meeting in London. AFP Photo

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will arrive in Turkey tomorrow for a trip focused on Syria as part of the third meeting of the Joint Strategic Planning Group, a sub-organ of the Turkish-Russian High Level Cooperation Council.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Lavrov will lead the meeting in Istanbul, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

“The meeting is expected to be an opportunity to review the preparations for the fourth meeting, to be held in Russia in the second half of the year. Additionally, the latest developments in the relations between the two countries, as well as new opportunities for cooperation, will be discussed and a comprehensive exchange of views on current regional and international developments will be conducted,” the statement said.

Lavrov and Davutoğlu are also expected to exchange views on regional and international issues on agenda, according to the statement. Turkish-Russian dialogue over Syria intensified following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Turkey on Dec. 3, 2012, when the two countries agreed to keep their growing bilateral economic and trade ties separate from their disagreements over Syria.

Putin met Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul where the two leaders held key talks focused on resolving sharp differences over the two-year conflict raging in Syria.

Turkey has been witnessing intense diplomatic traffic in recent times. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is set to stage his third visit to Turkey in two months next week. Kerry will participate in the core group of the Friends of Syrian People to be held on April 20 in Istanbul along with Davutoğlu and nine others.
The international community’s efforts to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government will be the top issue during Kerry’s visit