Tension between US, Russia serves nothing: Turkish FM
ISTANBUL - Anadolu AgencyTurkey's foreign minister said Dec. 30 that the recent diplomatic tension between Russia and the United States "will serve nothing but add to the existing problems".
FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters in southern Antalya province that such a tension "between the global actors" will be no good "for both of the countries and for the region."
Diplomatic relations between the two powers have been strained after the U.S. expelled 35 Russian diplomats Thursday, giving them and their families 72 hours to leave the US.
"We do not want to go back to the Cold War era," Çavuşoğlu said. "There are already a pile of problems around the world."
He urged that the problems should be solved in diplomatic ways.
Turkish minister also spoke about the newly-agreed nationwide cease-fire in Syria -- with Turkey and Russia as guarantor countries -- which took effect at midnight local time (2200 GMT) on Dec. 30.
Çavuşoğlu said maintaining the cease-fire and the planned political process afterwards were both significant.
He recalled that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Dec. 29 had a phone talk over an upcoming Astana meeting, which will bring representatives of the Syrian regime and opposition to meet under Turkey and Russia’s guidance.
Çavuşoğlu added he and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov are working on the coordination of the meeting in Astana.
The Astana meeting in Kazakhstan is part of recent efforts between Turkey and Russia to launch a political process in Syria.