Erdogan and Putin agree to disagree on Syria

Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Russia “Turkey’s number one energy partner” during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two leaders co-chaired the fourth High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council held in St. Petersburg.

Besides the issues of cooperation in the energy sector and trade reaching the $50 billion mark, Putin and Erdogan also discussed their disagreements on the Syrian issue.

Until recently, Ankara persistently asked for the immediate departure of Assad from his post and supported rebels fighting him while Moscow wants Assad to stay in power.

“On some points in the Syrian issue we may disagree but we continue to cooperate to resolve problems” Putin stated.

Erdogan called for Assad to be tried in The Hague and referred to the UN role in the Syrian issue, accusing the international community of delaying to find a solution to this issue. “We have 600 000 refugees from Syria. Turkey has supported efforts in Geneva and there is no more time to be wasted,” the Turkish prime minister said.

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(Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: