Erdogan to meet Putin in Russia on Aug 9: Turkish deputy PM

Mehmet Simsek, Turkey's deputy prime minister, says President Erdogan’s visit to Moscow was part of an ongoing attempt to try to mend ties with Russia.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

File photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) during a joint press conference.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg on August 9, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Tuesday. 

The meeting will be the first since Russia and Turkey began normalising relations following the downing of a Russian jet in November last year.

Speaking ahead of a meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkadiy Dvorkovich in Moscow, Simsek said the two countries wanted to normalise relations "as quickly as possible".

"Russia is not only our valuable neighbour, but also our important and strategic partner," Simsek said adding that, "We are here to improve our relations and bring them to an even higher level than before November 24." 

The Turkish deputy prime minister also said that he had thanked Russia for its support towards Turkey during the July 15 coup attempt.

Following the downing of a Russian fighter jet that violated Turkish airspace in November 2015, relations between the two countries soured rapidly. 

Later in June 2015, President Erdogan wrote to Putin in a bid to normalise relations. The two leaders also held a telephone conversation which was described as "very positive" by a Turkish presidential source.

"We aim [towards] improving the relations between the two countries with constructive [dialogue]," Dvorkovich said.

"The principle standing in our country over the coup attempt against the democratically elected government is that the issues should be solved within the constitution," the Russian deputy prime minister said.