Erdoğan, Putin say Astana process produces concrete results in Syria


Russian President Vladimir Putin is hosting Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for talks focusing on the situation in Syria.

Putin and Erdogan emerged after a marathon four-hour-long meeting.

"I would like to note with satisfaction that our joint work with Turkey and Iran as guarantors of the "Astana process" continues to yield concrete results".

Putin and Erdogan also agreed to "step up efforts to ensure long-term normalization in this country, primarily to advance the process of political settlement and to assist the Syrians in post-conflict reconstruction". During the talks, we agreed that a political solution to the Syrian confrontation was possible at present, Erdogan explained, before highlighting the importance of the Moscow-Washington joint statement on Syria, issued in Vietnam.

Erdogan said another topic in his meeting with Putin will be the Syrian congress for national dialogue, which was originally slated for November 18 in Sochi but was put off due to Ankara's opposition over the invitation of Syrian Kurdish groups.

Turkey has been annoyed by both Russian and USA missions in Syria.

"The YPG has said Washington has established seven military bases in areas of northern Syria controlled by the YPG or US-backed forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad's troops".

Russian Federation has been a strong supporter of Assad, whose removal Erdogan has demanded, and Moscow's military intervention two years ago helped turn the conflict in the Syrian president's favor.

"We attach great importance to the joint steps Turkey and Russian Federation will take on (the) defense industry", Erdogan said.

Ankara says it is making agreements with the Franco-Italian EUROSAM consortium to develop, produce and use its own sources for air defense system.