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Putin caught between a rock and Erdogan: difficult talks on Syria

Путин попал между молотом и Эрдоганом: сложные переговоры по Сирии

The talks between Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan caused no less interest than yesterday’s meeting with Abe. In both cases shared the territory. Only Japanese it was about the Russian Islands, and the Turks – on the North-East of Syria, where after the departure of American soldiers, Erdogan wants to create a Turkish-controlled buffer zone with a width of 32 km.

Erdogan refers to that class of politicians who are a tough cookie – he’ll take a mile. There are no principles, friends and enemies. There is only the interests of Turkey, from which he again wants to make a worthy heir of the great Ottoman Empire.

Now Erdogan is obsessed with the idea of expansion into Syrian territory: seizing the moment, he wants to create in the North-East of the country, where American soldiers go, controlled by Turkey’s buffer zone – the so-called “security zone”.

The Turkish leader has failed to secure consent from Donald trump, whom he persuaded that it would be better for all, including for the Kurdish people. (And tramp – the funny thing is – believe it!)

And on Wednesday arrived for talks with Vladimir Putin. However, the Russian leader skilfully pretended that the main purpose of the visit was not the intention of Erdogan to chop off a chunk of Syria and deal with the Kurds, which requires the sanction not only of Washington and Moscow. Just presidents the time has come once again to discuss bilateral relations, to give their development accelerated dynamics.

– We continue our practice of regular meetings, consultations, exchange of opinions, and it gives good results, while welcoming Erdogan, said the GDP, Over 10 months of last year, our bilateral trade has grown more than in the entire previous year. The number of Russian tourists visiting last year increased by 30%, reaching a record figure of 6 million people.

According to Vladimir Putin, this suggests that citizens are aware of the changing nature and quality of Russian-Turkish relations.

“Mr. President, dear friend, it is largely your personal credit, Your personal achievement, because you devote a lot of attention” – do not skimp on the praise of GDP, is perfectly mastered the basics of Eastern diplomacy.

“My dear friend… In all areas is the development of our relationship in the same vein, Putin said Turkish guest – of course this is reflected on regional security. Our solidarity is undoubtedly making a significant contribution to security in the region”.

However, for those who more or less follows the development of the situation in Syria, it is obvious that these mutual praise and admiration is little truth.

Trade and economic ties, indeed, are growing stronger and developing, as it is in the interests of both countries. As for regional security, Russia has almost no reason to admire the work of Erdogan.

The most obvious example is the province of Idlib, where the Turkish leader in exchange for abandoning the military operation vowed to create a demilitarized zone without fighters and heavy weapons.

More than three months passed, all the deadlines have long expired, and what happened? The militants in that time not only went nowhere, but on the contrary – strengthened its positions in Idlib.

According to the Russian Ministry of foreign Affairs, now the division of the former Dzhebhat EN Nusra (banned terrorist organization), is 70% of the province and seriously threaten not only the Russian base Hamim but also to others controlled by the Syrian authorities territories.

While the Turkish military to deal with the situation can not. And their commanders seem to have already lost interest in Idlib and on the orders of Erdogan set his sights on a military operation in Manbij, where, after the departure of the Americans, the Turks will have the opportunity to get even with the Kurds.

However, knowing the real situation, Vladimir Putin at a press conference following the talks was very tactful and did not blame Erdogan for the apparent fiasco in Idlib.

“We see that Turkish partners do a lot to eliminate the outbound of there terrorist threats. We must work together to achieve the final relief in the region.

The termination of the mode of fighting should not be to the detriment of efforts to combat terrorists. It must be continued,” – diplomatically expressed his position by the President. And only after clarifying questions from Russian journalists acknowledged that additional efforts will be required and, apparently, the intervention of the Russian military to stabilize the situation in the region.

“In the presence of defence Ministers held consultations. They produce more joint action. We will ensure that all of our agreements were executed,” without going into detail, informed the GDP.

Even less happy Vladimir Putin responded to a request from the now Turkish correspondent to tell that the Russian side thinks about Turkey’s intention to create a “security zone” in the North-East of Syria, where American troops will be displayed.

Erdogan during a press conference explained his decision by considerations of security and the need to end the self-defense units of the Kurds YPG, which he equated to terrorists (“We know who supports them!”)

“After the withdrawal of the U.S. forces in this area should not show vacuum! It’s dangerous!” – he stressed. However, GDP has loose the fog and clearly neither “Yes” nor “no” to the plans of the Erdogan said.

According to the Russian leader, he reminded the Turkish delegation on the current agreement between Syria and Turkey from 1998, “where are you talking about the fight against terrorism.” “I think that is the base, which covers many issues from the point of view of ensuring Turkey’s security on its southern borders. Today the question we in sufficient detail and actively discussed”, – said the GDP.

As found “MK”, the President most likely meant Adana agreement between Turkey and Syria concluded in 1998, after years of hostility.

In accordance with this agreement on Syrian territory, of course, the Syrian government had closed several bases and training camps of the Kurdistan workers party, blocked the accounts of its functionaries, etc., which eventually led to the normalization of relations between the two countries.

If Putin offers to revive the Adana agreement, then, apparently, he was not in favour of the Turkish expansion and hopes that the Kurdish rebels Damascus will be able to understand yourself, as it was 20 years ago. However, official confirmation of this position from the Kremlin is not followed.

It is noteworthy that the government of Bashar al-Assad has clearly expressed against the presence of Turks on its territory. Learning about the plans of Erdogan, the Syrian foreign Ministry issued a statement in which he accused the “Turkish mode” in the “occupation and aggression”.

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