Turkey’s President Erdogan to meet Putin in Russia

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Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will hold a bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Friday.

The meeting comes after Turkey and the United Nations successfully brokered a grain shipment deal between Russia and Ukraine.

Erdogan’s trip, his eighth to Russia since the start of 2019, follows a three-way meeting with Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran last month.

According to Ankara, regional and global developments will be on the agenda, as well as bilateral ties.

“By virtue of its role in the grain deal, Turkey has succeeded in positioning itself as Russia’s diplomatic conduit to the international community.

 “This diplomatic rearrangement has shifted the relational asymmetry more in Turkey’s favor and is expected to curtail, to some degree, Russian resistance against Turkish policies and initiatives in issues of common concern.” Eyup Ersoy, visiting research fellow at the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies, King’s College London, said.

Erdogan’s international credentials have been bolstered by the agreement that resumes exports of Ukrainian and Russian agricultural products, easing the threat to global food security.

Analysts said Turkey’s principal focus would be Moscow’s acquiescence, or at least its lack of opposition to a Turkish military operation in northern Syria.

Russia, a key supporter of President Bashar al-Assad, controls most of the north Syrian air space.

Erdogan raised the prospect of another operation against Syrian Kurdish fighters in May.

“We are determined to eradicate the evil groups that target our national security from Syria,” he reiterated during the Tehran summit two weeks ago.

Also read:Russia, Turkey Discuss Syria, Grain Exports from Ukraine

Erdogan and Putin may also discuss the possibility of Turkey sharing its armed aerial drone expertise with Russia.

Bayraktar TB2 drones sold to Ukraine have proved to be highly effective against Russian forces.

Last month, Erdogan reportedly said Putin had suggested setting up a drone factory in Russia during their Tehran meeting.

The Kremlin said last week that “technical and military cooperation” would be on the agenda at Sochi, an indication of Russia’s interest in procuring Bayraktars, according to Ersoy.

 

Zainab Sa’id

Source  Aljazeera 
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