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    Turkish president due in Russia for historic first visit

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    Turkish President Abdullah Gul will next week become the first Turkish head of state to pay an official visit to Russia, a source in the Turkish Embassy in Moscow said on Thursday.

    MOSCOW, February 5 (RIA Novosti) - Turkish President Abdullah Gul will next week become the first Turkish head of state to pay an official visit to Russia, a source in the Turkish Embassy in Moscow said on Thursday.

    "The state visit of our [Turkish] president will take place on February 12 to 15," the source said.

    The source added that Gul is expected to hold a series of meetings with high-ranking Russian government officials and to visit Kazan, the capital of Russia's Volga Republic of Tatarstan, on February 14.

    In the five years from 2001, Russian-Turkish trade increased 250% and it continues to develop steadily. Russia is a major energy exporter to Turkey, pumping natural gas across the Black Sea through the Blue Stream pipeline, the largest Russian-Turkish energy project to date.

    Turkey is also one of the most popular destinations for Russian tourists, helping boost a sector that is an important foreign-currency earner for Turkey.

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