Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump said in a joint statement on Saturday they would continue to fight against Islamic State in Syria, while agreeing that there was no military solution to the country’s wider, six-year-old conflict.
” I am having trouble understanding these comments, “Erdogan told reporters before flying to Russia for talks with Putin. ”If a military solution is out of the question, then those who say this should pull their troops out.
“Then a political method should be sought in Syria, ways to head into elections should be examined... We will discuss these with Putin,” he said.
After more than four hours of talks with Putin in the southern Russian resort of Sochi, Erdogan said the two leaders had agreed to focus on a political solution to the conflict.
Putin said Russia would continue to work on Syria with Turkey and their efforts were yielding results: “The level of violence has definitely been reduced, favorable conditions are being created for the progression of a inter-Syrian dialogue.”
Neither leader went into more specific detail. Asked if the two discussed Erdogan’s earlier comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the talks were about more complex issues which could not be made public, according to RIA news agency.
Turkey has been annoyed by both Russian and U.S. missions in Syria. Before his trip to Russia, Erdogan said both Moscow, which backs President Bashar al-Assad, and Washington, which armed Syrian YPG Kurdish forces Ankara sees as allied to separatists fighting in southeastern Turkey, had set up bases.