Deputy PM: Turkey’s progress in Syria not possible without normalization with Russia

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Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli speaks to press members as cabinet meeting continues at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on September 07, 2016.


Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Wednesday that the Turkish military offensive in Syria would not have been so easily carried out without “positive developments” in its relations with Russia.

We could not have moved so comfortably in the Euphrates Shield operation if it weren’t for the positive developments with Russia,” Canikli said during a televised interview on Wednesday.

Turkey’s strained relations with Russia were restored in August after a Russian jet was downed by Turkey last year.

Canikli said Turkey had not strayed from its “core policies” in Syria despite productive talks between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, who have held a series of phone calls this week.

While Turkey supports Free Syrian Army rebels in Syria, Russia is the main backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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