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Erdogan To Moscow To Discuss Ties, Syria

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives on a working visit to Moscow on July 18 to discuss bilateral economic relations and the situation in Syria.

Erdogan is due to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other senior Russian officials.

Russia, the main backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, has repeatedly rejected international efforts to impose sanctions on Damascus.

Turkey, which shares a border with Syria, has been a vocal critic of Assad's repression of the uprising which killed some 17,000.

Erdogan and Putin are also expected to discuss economic and energy ties. Russia is Turkey's second largest trade partner after Germany, with bilateral trade at $31.8 billion annually.

Russia is also Turkey's key partner in the natural gas industry, with exports to Turkey totaling some 26 billion cubic meters in 2011.

Based on reporting by Reuters, ITAR-TASS

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