Putin, Erdogan discuss Syria
In Turkey, visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated that Russia is not an advocate of the Syrian government, but it will not accept a repeat of NATO’s bombing of Libya. Putin arrived in Turkey Monday amid tensions between Moscow and Ankara over the Syrian crisis.
Vladimir Putin, Russian President, said, "We are not enrolled as defenders of the current government in Syria. We’re not the Syrian government’s lawyers. We have other concerns that of what will happen in the future in Syria. We do not want a repeat of what we see as the mistakes of the recent past. Remember how the West so actively supported the insurgents in Libya - who then could have imagined that the very same people who were supported by the West could then cause such tragedy by killing the US ambassador?"
Putin and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged but downplayed their differences over how to end the Syrian conflict. They agreed on the need to end the conflict.
Moscow is a key ally of Syria while Ankara is supporting the opposition trying to replace Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The two countries’ relations deteriorated when Turkey forced a Syria-bound plane to land in Turkey in October, claiming that it had Russian-made defense equipment on board. Moscow said the plane was legally carrying radar parts for Syria.