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Russian and Turkish diplomats discuss restoration of cooperation and tourists’ security

July 14, 20:35 UTC+3
Regional problems were also part of agenda, the Russian Foreign Ministry said
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MOSCOW, July 14 /TASS/. The Russian and Turkish deputy foreign ministers, Alexei Meshkov and Ali Kemal Aydin, met in Moscow on Thursday to discuss the restoration of Russian-Turkish cooperation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"As the relations between Russia and Turkey are getting back to normal, the sides discussed prospects for gradual restoration of the entire range of Russian-Turkish cooperation, including the resumption of a political dialogue; the stepping up of trade and economic cooperation and cultural and humanitarian interaction," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"Special attention was paid to the creation of necessary conditions for Russian tourists for visiting Turkey. With a terrorist threat still high, the security of Russian nationals in Turkey remains unconditional priority for Russia," the ministry stressed.

Regional problems were also part of agenda.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing in Moscow earlier on Thursday that it would take time to restore Russia’s relations with Turkey.

"It is always easy to spoil the relations. One shot would be enough. But it is always difficult to restore them because we do not have a magic wand. I will be honest to say that it’s going to take some time," the Russian diplomat stressed.

The Russian-Turkish bilateral relations started getting back on track after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had officially apologized to Russian President Vladimir Putin for a Su-24 plane, which the Turkish Air Force shot down on November 24, 2015. On June 30, 2016, Putin lifted ban on selling tourist trips to Russian vacationers. He also told the Russian government to take measures to lift a ban on charter flights between the two countries.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu met in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi on July 1. Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said the same day that Moscow and Ankara expected to have a month of intensive contacts. Nevertheless, the Russian side believes that the normalization of relations has not removed problem issues from bilateral agenda, the Russian side said.

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