Turkish-Russian political talks to be held in Antalya
MOSCOW – Anadolu Agency
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L-R) ahead of their talks in Ankara on Aug. 14, 2018. (ITAR-TASS News Agency / Alamy Stock Photo)
Russian and Turkish foreign ministers will meet in the Mediterranean province of Antalya, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on March 28.
They will also discuss a presidential meeting scheduled for April 8, Zakharova told reporters.
"They will focus on the further expansion of Russia-Turkey trade and economic cooperation in various areas, consular issues and promotion of cultural and humanitarian cooperation in the context of conducting a cross year of culture and tourism in our countries this year," she said.
The two ministers will exchange views on the Syrian settlement, cooperation in countering terrorism and organized crime, and developments in the Middle East and North Africa, the South Caucasus, Central Asia, Ukraine and the Black Sea region, she said.
They will also discuss ways of enhancing the efficiency of cooperation at international venues and sign a plan for Foreign Ministry consultations in 2019-2020 within the framework of the joint group, she added.
The previous meeting of the group was held in Moscow last March.
She expressed reservations over a recent Turkish initiative of passport-free travel for Russian citizens to the country.
"While crossing the border with Turkey, there will inevitably be a problem, first of all, with the reading of information....Ignorance of Russian by representatives of local authorities can lead to a number of conflict situations.
"There are a few exceptions [for passport-free travel] for countries with which we have achieved a very high level of integration, and the border guards of these states are fluent in Russian," she said.
On March 25, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said the two countries were in talks to allow Russian nationals to travel to Turkey without a passport.
OIC on New Zealand attack
Russia shares the indignation of the Muslim states and communities around the world over the attacks in New Zealand, Maria Zakharova said.
In this regard, she said, Moscow supports a call by Organization of Islamic cooperation (OIC) to take effective measures to protect individuals and groups from religious discrimination and violence.
The call came after at least 50 Muslims were killed and as many injured when a terrorist entered the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch and shot worshippers in cold blood, including four children younger than 18.