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Erdogan, Putin Agree To Restore Bilateral Ties


A combo photo of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, have talked for the first time by phone since Turkey downed a Russian warplane late last year.

Both the Kremlin and Erdogan’s office said the two agreed in the telephone call on June 29 to resume cooperation and expressed readiness for a face-to-face meeting.

Erdogan’s office said the two also vowed to fight against terrorism.

The call was arranged after Erdogan expressed regret in a letter to Putin this week over Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane in November 2015. The incident along the Syrian-Turkish border killed a Russian pilot.

Putin said Erdogan’s letter had created conditions to close "the crisis chapter" in bilateral relations.

Putin said he had ordered the government to start talks with Turkey on resuming trade relations and to drop restrictive measures on Russian tourists visiting Turkey, the Kremlin said.

Putin also expressed his condolences to Erdogan over the Istanbul airport attack.

Based on reporting by Milliyet, Reuters, Sabah and Hurriyet