Publish dateMonday 8 April 2019 - 22:39
Story Code : 182907
Putin, Erdogan Mull Missile System, Syria on Agenda
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan began talks in Moscow with the controversial sale of an air-defense system and the conflict in Syria high on their agenda.
AVA- “There is a huge batch of issues that we have to discuss” including in defense and military-technical cooperation, Putin said Monday. “Steps we’ve taken and will take in Syria are of great importance,” Erdogan said.
Turkey is pressing ahead with plans to take delivery of a Russian S-400 air-defense system despite intense opposition from the U.S., which has threatened to expel Ankara from its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet program if the deal is completed. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence warned last week that Turkey “‘must choose” between being a critical player in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization “or risk the security of that partnership by making reckless decisions.”
While Putin and Erdogan have coordinated efforts to stabilize the conflict in Syria, they failed to agree on military action to oust militants from the Idlib region when they held summit talks with Iran in Russia’s Sochi in February. There are also continued divisions over Ankara’s demand for a buffer zone inside Syria to prevent U.S-backed Kurdish forces getting access to the Turkish border. Ankara says the Kurdish forces are affiliated with PKK militants in southeast Turkey. The Kurdish YPF group in Syria denies links to the PKK.
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