Putin arrives in Turkey for talks on weapons deal, Syria

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ANKARA, TURKEY - SEPTEMBER 28: President of Russia, Vladimir Putin (C-L) is welcomed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C-R) with an official ceremony, at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on September 28, 2017.AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday arrived in Ankara to meet with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for talks on Syria and a key weapons deal.

Putin, along with his delegation, will meet with Erdoğan in the presidential palace in Ankara and discuss recent developments in Turkey’s neighborhood, including war-torn Syria and northern Iraq, where a referendum was held on Monday in favor of a free Kurdish state.

On Sept. 16, Turkey, Iran and Russia had agreed to deploy observers to the boundaries of a de-escalation zone in the Idlib region of northern Syria, which is under the control of Islamist militants.

Observers from these three countries will be deployed at check and observation points in safe zones that form the borders of the de-escalation zone,” a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement said.

A total of 500 observers from each country are expected to protect the truce while preventing conflicts between the Syrian regime and the opposition.

While Turkey has been highly critical of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for holding the independence referendum, Moscow refrained from commenting to the media.

During Putin’s visit to Ankara, Russian and Turkish officials will also discuss the details of the S-400 air defense system that Turkey bought from Russia despite objections from NATO and US.

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