Russian Foreign Minister to visit Turkey by end of 2016, envoy says

Russia’s foreign minister will visit Turkey by the end of 2016, a senior diplomat has told Anadolu Agency.

Speaking on Wednesday, Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov said Sergey Lavrov would visit amid the ongoing normalization of relations between the two countries.

In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Karlov said there was an ongoing effort to re-establish relations both in the political and economic fields.

Karlov said the “next step” would likely be in November or December.

According to the ambassador, the countries’ economy ministers will also meet at a Joint Economic Commission in Istanbul in October.

“Unfortunately, we lost seven months in Moscow-Ankara relations since the jet crisis,” Karlov said, referring to the shooting down of a Russian warplane by Turkish forces last November.

“We just need to reach the former level and work for new horizons,” he said.

Ties between Moscow and Ankara entered a new phase following a meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his counterpart Vladimir Putin on Aug. 9 in St. Petersburg.

Relations between the two countries had soured after the downing of the Russian jet which had violated Turkish airspace on the Syrian border.

The issue seemed largely resolved on June 29 through a letter and subsequent telephone calls between the countries’ leaders.

On June 30, Russia lifted a ban on tourist flights to Turkey following a phone conversation between Putin and Erdoğan.

Turkish and Russian foreign ministers later met in the Russian city of Sochi on July 1.

Putin gave his support to Turkey over the July 15 coup attempt and said he stood by the elected government, offering his condolences to the victims of what Erdoğan called the “most heinous” armed coup attempt in modern Turkish history.

On July 22, Russia also lifted restrictions on flights to Turkey, which had been implemented temporarily following the coup attempt, after Turkish officials assured their Russian counterparts that additional security measures were being taken.

Source: DailySabah

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