Erdogan: Turkey, Russia to continue working for peace, stability in region

04 April, 2018, 01:19 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Putin attends groundbreaking ceremony for Turkey's first nuclear power plant

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin shake hands during a meeting in Ankara, Turkey April 3, 2018.

Their meeting in Ankara opened with Putin and Erdogan, via video conference, launching construction of Turkey's first nuclear power station in the Mediterranean Mersin region, a massive project that will come online in half a decade.

Russian Federation and Turkey — along with Iran — are also working together to create "de-escalation zones" to reduce the fighting in Syria and bring the sides of the conflict together to negotiate Syria's future.

Turkey backs the moderate Syrian opposition, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), while Russian Federation supports the regime leader Bashar al Assad.

Today, the presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey will convene in Ankara to continue discussing the May 2017 Astana model devised to bring peace to a warring Syria.

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"Therefore, Iran, like Turkey, does not want a strong YPG existence that might lead to an independent state there".

Despite being on different sides of the Syrian civil war, key regime backers Russian Federation and Iran have joined with rebel-supporting Turkey to push forward a peace process but also to ensure influence in Syria once the conflict ends.

But Ankara-Moscow relations were also tested by a severe crisis from November 2015 when Turkey shot down a Russian warplane over Syria, a confrontation both sides are trying to put behind them.

The Akkuyu plant, comprising four reactors, each with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts, will be built by the Russian State Nuclear Energy Agency, Rosatom.

At present, there are 450 nuclear power plants in 31 countries, while 55 plants are under construction around the world.

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Half of the offshore section of the pipeline has already been installed.

In late June 2016 the Kremlin says Erdogan has apologised for the jet downing in a message to Putin, in which he calls for a return to friendlier ties. Almost 4.5 million Russian tourists had visited Turkey in 2014, but the following two years witnessed a dramatic fall due to Russia's suspension of visa-free travel from Turkey and discouraging its citizens to visit Turkey after the crisis.

Russians make up the largest group of tourists to Turkey, he said, hoping for further increases as well as Russian relaxation of visa rules for Turkish citizens.

Kurtulmus said he met 20 tour operators on the sidelines of the 25th Moscow International Travel and Tourism Exhibition.

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