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Erdogan in Turkey and Putin in Russia to Discuss Bilateral Agreements

ANKARA – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday to discuss bilateral relations, the Anadolu news agency reported.
“Our cooperation with Russia is continuing and growing stronger [by the day],” Erdogan told reporters before leaving Istanbul for Moscow on Monday morning.
“Visa-free travel is of course a topic of the day,” he added.
His visit came just after Turkey bought a Russian-built ground-to-air missile system, which the United State considers a threat to their own F-35 fighter jet.
Turkey is a member of NATO and its relations with Russia have always been tense, but that has changed since Erdogan joined forces with Moscow for Washington.
On April 3, US Vice President Mike Pence said: “Turkey must choose” if it wants to “remain an essential partner” within NATO or “risk the security of this partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our alliance.”
The US State Department threatened Ankara with sanctions if it purchased missile systems.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, on a diplomatic mission to Washington last week, told a public television host that such threats won’t buy defense systems from countries other than the United States were “unacceptable”.
Cavusoglu said that “the S-400 agreement is an acquired agreement” on which Ankara will not withdraw, suggested the creation of a working group between the Pentagon and Ankara to settle the dispute.
But the Pentagon rejected this idea, saying that a “technical working group at this stage is not necessary or a path that the United States considers a resolution”.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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