Erdoğan: Turkey planning summit with France, Germany, Russia over regional issues

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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 26: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) meets Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) within the 10th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on July 26, 2018. Cem Oksuz / Anadolu Agency

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said Turkey is seeking to hold a summit in İstanbul with France, Germany and Russia on Sept. 7 to discuss regional issues including the Syrian conflict, according to Agence France-Presse, citing the Turkish media.

“We will discuss what we can do in the region together,” Erdoğan said, as quoted by the Hürriyet daily.

He gave no further details on the issues on the agenda but said Turkey would continue dialogue with Russia, “outside of this foursome” in remarks made to Turkish journalists during a recent visit to South Africa.

Erdoğan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the visit on the sidelines of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) summit of leading emerging economies in Johannesburg.

“We will separately have a summit in Istanbul on September 7 with Russia, Germany, France and Turkey,” Erdoğan was quoted as saying.

There was no immediate confirmation from Moscow, Paris or Berlin.

The seven-year conflict in Syria is likely to be high on the four countries’ agenda as Russia, Iran and Turkey continue their efforts to end the war under the Astana peace process launched last year despite being on opposing sides.

While Moscow and Tehran support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Ankara has repeatedly called for his ouster and helped Syrian rebels.

In April Erdoğan held a summit with Putin and Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in Ankara.

The three leaders are due to meet again in the near future in Tehran, Erdoğan said without giving an exact date, while technical talks as part of the Astana process will take place on Monday and Tuesday in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in Russia.

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