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    An employee of a flag-making factory folds a Russian flag as a Turkish flag adorns the display at left, in Istanbul, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016

    Turkey to Consider Closing Border With Syria at Russia’s Request – Reports

    © AP Photo / Thanassis Stavrakis
    Middle East
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    Turkey will consider closing its border with Syria at Russia’s request as full reconciliation with Moscow is in Ankara’s interest, Russian media reported Friday, citing a Russian Federation Council member.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) —Moscow has demanded from Ankara the closure of the Turkish Syrian border as part of talks of a Russia-Turkish commission on reconciliation, according to the Izvestia newspaper.

    These talks reportedly come in continuation of the discussions between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and include participation of diplomats, military officials and special services representatives from both countries.

    "Turkish negotiators — both diplomatic and military – have practically no field for maneuver. At the same time, they seem to be willing to overcome contentious issues. That is why they will have to meet our condition of closing the border with Syria," Igor Morozov told the paper.

    Russia and a number of other international actors have repeatedly called on Turkey to shut its border with the crisis-torn Syria over concern that weapons and munitions could be transferred across the border to aid extremists based in Syria.

    On Tuesday, Putin met with Erdogan, who arrived in St. Petersburg for first talks to reset bilateral relations that soured after Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 jet over Syria in November 2015. The two leaders agreed to revive bilateral ties, returning to the pre-crisis level of cooperation in trade, energy and defense and other spheres.


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