Russia’s Bogdanov meets senior Turkish diplomat in Istanbul
Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
AA PhotoRussian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov held a meeting with a senior Turkish diplomat on Oct. 18 in Istanbul, Turkish diplomatic sources said.
Bogdanov, who is also Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special representative for the Middle East and Africa, met with a deputy undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry on his way from Cairo to Moscow, the same diplomatic sources told Hürriyet Daily News, declining to elaborate on the content of the meeting.
Earlier in the weekend, Bogdanov was in Cairo for talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Arab League Secretary-General Nabil el-Araby.
Bogdanov’s brief stopover in Istanbul came as bilateral relations between the two Black Sea neighbors have been strained after Russian air force planes consecutively violated Turkish air space on Oct. 3 and 4. A delegation from the Russian air force informed the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) about the violations during a meeting held in Ankara on Oct. 15.
Also on Oct. 15, Bogdanov said Moscow was hoping Turkey would support Russian efforts in the fight against militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), as many regional countries have already recognized the efficiency of Russia’s anti-terrorism strategy.
“The efficiency demonstrated by the Russian side during airstrikes on terrorist bases in Syria in support of the ground offensive by the Syrian army proves that this evil could be and must be fought against,” Bogdanov said, according to Sputnik news agency. “Our anti-terrorism strategy has already received approval by a number of regional countries, and we are hoping that our Turkish friends will do the same and we will work together [in this fight],” he said, noting that Moscow and Ankara will hold in the near future ministerial consultations over issues on the current global agenda, including the situation in Syria.
In Ankara, however, on the very same day, Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu’s comments on the role that Turkey’s Black Sea neighbor has been playing in Syria were clear-cut.
“Russia has made a big mistake. What it has been doing will not bring any good other than delaying Syria’s transition period and its possibility of getting out of this turmoil. We will continue our warnings on this issue,” Sinirlioğlu had said on Oct. 15.