Turkish FM says Moscow, Ankara have similar views on Syrian settlement

Turkey and Russia have common views on political settlement in Syria, including issues of observing ceasefire and delivering humanitarian aid, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.

"We (with Russia) have similar views on the ceasefire in Syria, humanitarian aid and political settlement," Anadolu Agency quoted Cavusoglu as saying.

Moscow and Ankara "are building mechanisms of close cooperation on Syria settlement," he added.

"We already have established mechanisms on Syria with Russia, between the militaries, foreign ministries and intelligence services. Representatives of these structures will come to Russia today and hold talks," Cavusoglu said. He noted that the two countries plan to establish "a more effective mechanism in the future and maintain contacts at a higher level."

The Turkish foreign minister noted that the two countries also plan to cooperate in the military sphere, as well as in intelligence and diplomacy.

However, Cavusoglu noted that "there may be some disagreements" on whether Syrian President Bashar Assad should stay in power. "Instead of criticizing each other on this matter, we should search for possibilities to bring close our dialogue on current issues. We will contribute to resolving Syria’s problems. It is necessary to achieve observance of ceasefire in Syria immediately," he concluded.

On Tuesday Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met for the first time today after Turkish Air Force downed a Su-24 bomber that took part in the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces’ counter-terrorist operation in Syria on 24 November 2015.

Russia demanded apologies, a compensation and to punish those guilty. Moscow severed contacts with Ankara until Turkey agreed to fulfill the demands. In July, Erdogan wrote a letter to Putin apologizing for the incident.

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