ANKARA, January 9. /TASS/. Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has held a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu ahead of the possible visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Russia, the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement posted on its official Twitter account on Wednesday.
"Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar and the Russian defense minister held telephone talks. The sides discussed the latest developments in Idlib and assessed regional security issues in the framework of agreements reached in Sochi," the statement said.
The Russian Defense Ministry also reported that Shoigu and Akar discussed problems in the Idlib de-escalation zone and other issues. "During talks, the defense ministers discussed the situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone and other issues of regional security," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
These are the first talks between the Russian and Turkish defense ministers this year. They last met on December 29 in Moscow in the "2+2" format, together with the foreign ministers of the two countries. After December's talks, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara plans to continue closely cooperating with Russia and Iran in Syria.
On January, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to visit Russia to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Anadolu Agency earlier reported that the sides might discuss a wide range of issues, including the situation in Syria and contract on Ankara's purchase of S-400 missile defense systems from Russia. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier that the date of Erdogan's visit to Russia has not been set yet.