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Erdoğan thanks Putin for resumption of charter flights

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan thanked his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, for the resumption of charter flights to Turkey, during a bilateral meeting ahead of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, Sputnik reported.

“As you can see, the Russian government lifted the ban on Aug. 28, and the first chartered plane carrying Russian tourists has landed in Turkey,” said Putin at the beginning of the meeting, rejecting Erdoğan’s accusations in a recent phone call that the agreements made at a St. Petersburg meeting were not carried out on time.

Erdoğan thanked the Russian leader for the restart of charter flights to Turkey.

The first Russian chartered aircraft carrying tourists to Turkey landed in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya on Sept. 2.

Putin said Saturday he expected Erdoğan to restore security in the country, Sputnik reported.

Underlining that “Turkey has been through difficult times, fighting against terrorism and facing serious terrorist crimes,” Putin also said, “We are glad that Turkey is now back on track toward living a normal political life.”

“I am certain that you … will succeed in normalizing the situation in the country and move forward toward our cooperation,” Putin told Erdoğan, Sputnik reported.

Erdoğan and Putin had a phone conversation on Aug. 26, discussing bilateral relations and Syria. During the conversation the two leaders agreed to have a bilateral meeting during the G-20 summit in China.

Putin and Erdoğan met in St. Petersburg on Aug. 16, the first time the two have gotten together since a falling out over the downing of a Russian fighter jet by the Turkish Air Forces on Nov. 24, 2015.

The Erdoğan-Putin phone call came after news that a meeting scheduled to take place between Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and his Russian counterpart, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, in Ankara on Friday had been postponed to a later date.

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