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Putin also congratulates Erdogan over referendum win

Putin (left)  and Erdogan at a past meeting

Istanbul, Turkey | AFP |  Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday congratulated Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for winning a referendum on enhancing his powers, the Kremlin and Turkish state media said.

Putin telephoned Erdogan to congratulate him over the win of the ‘Yes’ vote in Sunday’s poll, the state-run Anadolu news agency said, quoting presidential sources.

The Kremlin said in a statement that Putin congratulated Erdogan for the “successful carrying-out” of the referendum.

US President Donald Trump had on Monday also congratulated Erdogan for his victory in the poll, which has been disputed by the opposition and has been greeted coolly by the European Union.

Anadolu said Putin and Erdogan emphasised the importance of normalising ties, which are still recovering after Turkish jets shot down a Russian war plane over the Syrian border in 2015.

The two leaders also noted the importance of maintaining a ceasefire in Syria jointly brokered by Ankara and Moscow, it added.

The Kremlin said that the ceasefire needed to be reinforced as well as the twin talks processes based in Astana and Geneva.

Both sides also emphasised the importance of an “unpartisan” investigation into the suspected chemical attack in Syria earlier this month, the Kremlin said.

Ankara has said that the deadly nerve agent sarin was used by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, an opinion not shared by Russia.

Some analysts are predicting Ankara will move closer towards Moscow after the referendum as increased strains emerge in its relations with the European Union.


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