Lavrov: Rebuilding cooperation with Turkey depends on Syria
Russia has so far called for Assad to be part of transition process in Syria while Turkey is deeply opposed to Syrian leader remaining in power.
Hakan Ceyhan Aydoğan - MOSCOW (AA) - Rebuilding confidence between Turkey and Russia depends mostly on the cooperation over the Syria crisis, Moscow's foreign minister said Friday.
Speaking at a youth forum in Vladimir in western Russia, Sergey Lavrov said: "It is not only about bilateral relations, or how we carry out the trade, investment, and the mutual projects; it is also about the cooperation over solutions to the Syrian crisis."
Relations between the two countries had been suspended until June 29, when a letter from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and subsequent telephone calls between the leaders quashed tensions.
On June 30, Russia lifted a ban on tourist flights to Turkey following a telephone conversation between President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart.
Turkish and Russian foreign ministers later met in the Russian city of Sochi on July 1 in an effort to boost the process of normalizing relations.
Putin also gave his support to Turkey in the July 15 coup attempt and said he stood by Turkey’s elected government and offered his condolences to the victims of the failed coup.
Russia has so far called for Assad to be part of a transition process while Turkey - which has taken in a large number of Syrian refugees - is deeply opposed to Assad remaining in power and finding his regime responsible for the deaths of thousands of Syrians.
Moscow launched its military intervention in Syria in late September 2015 allegedly after a formal request by the Bashar al-Assad regime for military help.
Since then, it has been staging airstrikes against positions held by Assad’s opponents.
The U.S. and Turkey have criticized Russia's presence in Syria on the grounds that Russian airstrikes have killed mostly civilians.
* Hümeyra Atılgan Büyükovalı contributed to this report from Istanbul.
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