Putin-Erdogan Meeting: A 'New Impetus for Development' of Bilateral Trade Ties

© Sputnik / Sergey Guneev / Go to the mediabankRussian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, at a news conference after talks in Ankara on September 28, 2017
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, at a news conference after talks in Ankara on September 28, 2017 - Sputnik International
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan held talks in Ankara last week. In an interview with Sputnik, Turkish experts touted the talks as something that they said will add significantly to a fresh level of bilateral relations.

Bulent Gedikli, an advisor to the Turkish President, emphasized that for Turkey and Russia, maintaining close diplomatic contact and developing channels for dialogue is "very important for the developments in the region."

"In the near future, the dialogue between Russia, Iran, Turkey and the Iraqi government will become even more significant," he said.

Gedikli added that the development of Turkish-Russian economic relations means "Ankara-Moscow cooperation on a mutually beneficial basis."

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"When the sides resolve the remaining economic issues, including the supply of tomatoes, bilateral trade relations will be strengthened even more," he pointed out.

Praising the positive atmosphere of the Putin-Erdogan talks, Gedikli expressed hope that Russia will continue to show "a balanced approach to the issues that are particularly sensitive for Turkey."

"Putin and Erdogan are two [political] figures who can be called world leaders. Therefore, the strengthening of cooperation between these two leaders, who have managed to ensure stability, is a positive factor for both countries," Gedikli said.

He was echoed by Mustafa Elitas, deputy chairman of the parliamentary faction of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), who said that the statements Putin and Erdogan made after the talks indicate that Russian-Turkish relations will soon come to a new, higher level of development.

"I believe that within the framework of this cooperation, a spate of important steps will be taken in the near future to help solve negative situations occurring in the region. Also, significant efforts are being made to return our trade relations with Russia to their previous level," Elitas said.

He voiced confidence that both sides will manage to resolve the tomato supplies-related issues before the end of 2017, and that "Turkey's trade cooperation with Russia will receive a new impetus for development."

Additionally, Elitash pointed to the tourism sector, where he said bilateral ties have already returned to their previous high.

"The flow of Russian tourists to Turkey in 2017 made a positive contribution to the development of the tourism industry of our country. This means that our relations in this area have returned to the pre-crisis level," he said.

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Elitash also touched upon Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems, saying that "Turkey, as a country located in one of the most troubled regions of the world, has every right to buy the defense systems of those whom it deems necessary to protect its national interests and ensure its own security."

"Such a step on the part of Turkey should be perceived calmly by the international community, especially given that some other NATO members have already purchased Russian defense systems," he concluded.

During the two-hour talks on September 28, Putin and Erdogan specifically discussed the details of a peaceful settlement in Syria and the implementation of the Astana agreements. The sides expressed their readiness to continue joint work on the zones of de-escalation in Syria.

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Also high on the agenda of the talks was a recent referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, which has beendescribed by the Turkish President as illegal.

The two leaders underscored the importance of the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria, noting that Russia and Turkey had no disagreements regarding Iraqi Kurdistan's independence referendum.

During the press conference following the talks, Putin thanked Erdogan for constructive talks, touting them as "very useful and productive."

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