MESOP BACKGROUNDER: HAPPY BEING TOGETHER – ERDOGAN & PUTIN – Turkish & Russian Militaries in “Fruitful” Discussions
Turkish military sources have said that Thursday’s discussions between the head of the Turkish and Russian General Staffs were “fruitful”. The Russian Chief of General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, met Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar in Ankara. The trip was originally scheduled for August 26, but was postponed amid Turkey’s military intervention alongside Syrian rebels in northern Syria. The Turkish military sources said:
This positive development is believed to be important in regards that this will lead to a common perspective between the two countries for the solution of other problematic regions in the Middle East….The view that regional problems can only be resolved through joint initiatives of the regional countries among themselves has prevailed.
While no details were given, Turkey media portrayed the meeting as the military dimension of the “reconcilation” between Turkey and Russia after Ankara’s downing of a Russian warplane near the Turkish-Syrian border last November.
In late June, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sent a letter to Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin expressing sorrow over the incident, and the two men met in Moscow last month. The two sides announced that regular consultations would be held between officials of the diplomatic, military, and intelligence services.