Putin, Erdogan Hold Joint Press Conference After Meeting in Sochi

Andrei Klimov Moscow and Ankara set example of cooperation

Andrei Klimov Moscow and Ankara set example of cooperation

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday signaled that a Turkish military operation against Kurdish forces in the northwestern Syrian town of Afrin could be imminent, as he traveled to Russian Federation to discuss the Syrian conflict with Vladimir Putin.

"If a military solution [in Syria] is out of the question, then those who say this [Russia and the US] should pull their troops out ... and steps for a political solution should be taken", he said.

He stated that a military solution was not possible in Syria, condemning the ongoing deaths at the hands of the Syrian regime.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin praised the Astana process for producing concrete results in Syria and creating conditions for a dialogue there. " Erdogan added, "We came to an agreement that, at this moment, there's ground, which allows us to focus on the political resolution" of the Syrian crisis".

He stated that the Syrian regime has killed some one million people. In addition to Syria, they discussed several other bilateral issues, ranging from joint counter-terrorism efforts to economic cooperation in the trade and energy sectors.

He said that Syrian refugees who migrated from northern Syrian province of Aleppo are in a hard situation in Idlib, while the presence of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, which Ankara regards as a terror group, in Afrin is posing a threat to Turkey.

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