Putin – Erdogan agree to creation of Syria safe zones

Putin – Erdogan agree to creation of Syria safe zones

Merkel threatens Ankara concerning the death penalty

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Sochi and tried to find a formula for improving the relations between the two countries, a formula which also passes through developments in Syria.

What Erdogan has taken from the meeting is that Moscow’s sanctions against Turkey will be reduced except for some agricultural products. In Turkey there is an increase of Russian tourists by  1350%  compared to the downward trend of 2016. Information indicates that Putin has clarified that Moscow has an important role in Syria. The two sides also discussed the issue of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system sale to Turkey.

Russia and Turkey estimate that the crisis in Syria can only be solved at a political and diplomatic level, Putin stated after the talks with his Turkish counterpart were concluded.

The Russian president, citing the telephone conversation he had with Donald Trump yesterday, said that the United States support the creation of safe zones in Syria, which Ankara also wants.

“One way to strengthen the ceasefire is to create safe or de-escalation zones. Yesterday, talking to Mr. Trump on the phone, we discussed this issue. And I understand that the US government supports these ideas”, Putin said. There are already scenarios circulating in Turkey concerning 4 safe zones within Syria.

Putin expressed his conviction that those involved in the Syrian crisis talks to be held in Astana’s capital, Kazakhstan, will decide on the creation of safety zones in Syria, and that the war on terrorism will continue despite the plans concerning the creation of these zones.

Erdogan, on his part, said he would continue to address the threats from terrorist organisations on the southern border with Iraq and Syria. The Turkish president also included the Kurdish YPG movement, in the terrorist organisations which Ankara sees as a branch of the PKK. “We do not make a distinction between terrorist organisations. The Islamic State (ISIS), the YPG, and Al-Qaeda, are all the same for us”.

The Turkish side expressed its annoyance as American and Russian soldiers appear to patrol alongside the Kurds of the YPG in Syria.

Merkel: Europe is out if the death penalty returns

Angela Merkel’s statements have sent shockwaves through Turkey after she made it clear that she cannot be blackmailed by Turkey, and in the event of a return of the death penalty, accession negotiations with Ankara will be interrupted!

“I am completely free to make clear statements about the turbulent developments in Turkey, and this is true not only in public, but mainly in private talks with the Turkish government,” Merkel said in her interview with a German newspaper Kolner-Stadt Anzeiger

“We need to be clear about our criticism, there is no question, but we also have to be smart because good relations with Turkey are in our interests. But restoring the death penalty would remove the basis of Turkey’s accession negotiations with the European Union, “she said./IBNA