Russia’s Putin is due Ankara next week to meet Erdoğan on Syria
AFP photoThe Turkish and Russian presidents, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Vladimir Putin, are expected to meet in person in Ankara next week, following the recent agreement for the establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria, including rebel-held Idlib.
“We’ll dine together on Thursday [Sept. 28] and we’ll talk about the developments in Syria,” Erdoğan said in an address to the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York late on Sept. 20, adding that he will first speak with Putin on the phone on Sept. 25 before their face-to-face meeting takes place.
Three guarantor countries, Turkey, Iran and Russia, recently agreed to establish de-escalation zones in Syria and to deploy observers to monitor the ceasefire between the al-Assad regime and opposition groups.
Idlib, a northern Syrian town under the control of jihadist terror groups since early this summer, is also part of these zones and the three countries are expected to deploy observers here as well.
A Russian official had earlier said each three countries would send 500 troops to the de-escalation zones.
Technical talks for the modalities of these deployments are still ongoing.
At their Sept. 28 meeting, Erdoğan and Putin are also expected to discuss Turkey’s purchase of S-400 anti-ballistic missiles from Russia, which has stirred concern in Ankara’s NATO allies.
“As Turkey, we must exert efforts to procure S-400s, even S-500 and S-600s, given the fact that there are S-400s in Syria. These are steps we are taking for our security. There are also steps we need to take with regard to ballistic missiles,” Erdoğan told the business forum.