The foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey have met and discussed the Syrian war. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the US seems to have a vested interest in partitioning Syria.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) shakes hands with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu at the end of a joint press conference following their meeting in Moscow on March 14, 2018
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) shakes hands with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu at the end of a joint press conference following their meeting in Moscow on March 14, 2018 ( AFP )

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's trip to Washington scheduled for March 19 might be delayed due to the changing of the guard at the US State Department, Turkey’s top diplomat said on Wednesday.

Cavusoglu's remarks came during a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow.

We would like to work with new US Secretary of State in the same vein

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced former CIA director Mike Pompeo as his pick to be the country’s new secretary of state after ousting Rex Tillerson.

TRT World's Hasan Abdullah has more from Moscow. 

Turkey and the US have been trying to iron out a number of issues, principally concerning the YPG–the Syrian affiliate of the PKK, which is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and the EU – in Syria, which the US has worked with, calling it a "reliable ally."

In the Russian capital, Cavusoglu is also expected to attend a series of meetings, including the sixth Turkish-Russian Joint Strategic Planning Group Meeting.

During the press conference, Lavrov accused the US of trying to split Syria.

“I know the US’ intention of establishing a base in Syria,” said Lavrov. "They are resorting to some methods to cause Syria to split.”

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when Bashar al Assad's regime cracked down on demonstrators with force.

According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict.

Early delivery of S-400 defence systems

Lavrov also said his country would accelerate initial deliveries of the S-400 missile defence systems to Turkey.

Cavusoglu responded by saying, "The sooner we receive the S-400s, the better."

Russia will begin delivery of the systems in early 2020, Russia's presidential aide on military co-operation told a local television station on Monday.

"Turkey expressed a wish to accelerate its implementation and we managed to find the most appropriate solution as we agreed to accelerate the contract’s implementation, so I think we will begin to fulfill it sometime in early 2020," Vladimir Kozhin told Russia 24.

Last December, Turkey announced that it had concluded an agreement with Russia for the purchase of two S-400 systems by early 2020.

The S-400 system has been in the inventory of the Russian army since 2007.

This missile system is able to detect targets as far as 600 kilometres away and eliminate targets such as stealth aircraft and ballistic missiles.

Source: AA