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Russian President Putin receives his Turkish counterpart Erdogan in Sochi

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is traveling to Russia on August 5 to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi.

This meeting comes as the Turkish president has been threatening since May to lead an offensive in northeastern Syria, to establish a 30 km security zone on its border in order to keep away the Kurdish fighters of the PKK and their allies. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

At an Iran-Turkey-Russia summit in Tehran on July 19, Recep Tayyip Erdogan showed his determination to carry out this offensive despite repeated opposition from President Putin and their Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi, who both support militias auxiliaries in the region. The three heads of state nevertheless signed a joint statement implicitly supporting Ankara, saying they “reject all illegitimate self-determination initiatives”.

Again on August 5, before the meeting between Putin and Erdogan, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that while Turkey has “legitimate concerns”, “it is very important not to allow any action that could destabilize the situation in Syria”.



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