Turkish PM Yıldırım to meet with Russia’s Putin in December

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Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim ( L), Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (2nd L), Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ( R) attend the opening ceremony of 23rd World Energy Congress in Istanbul, Turkey on October 10, 2016.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım will visit Russia on Dec. 5 and 6 and have meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his counterpart, Dimitri Medvedev, Turkey’s Prime Ministry sources have said.

According to a statement from the Office of the Turkish Prime Ministry, Yıldırım’s visit will aim to boost bilateral relations especially on economy, trade and tourism. Regional issues such as Syria and the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) will also be discussed during Yıldırım’s visit.

Russia and Turkey, a member of NATO, are backing opposing sides in the Syrian conflict. In recent months they have been normalizing ties that broke down a year ago when Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the border with Syria.

Despite a severe crisis in bilateral relations after the jet incident, the relations got back on track with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Moscow in September following his letter of apology in June. Russia had halted charter flights to Turkey and imposed sanctions on trade after Turkey downed its jet. The two countries have conflicting approaches to the crisis in Syria; yet, economic relations are strong as Russia is building Turkey’s first nuclear power plant.

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