Putin and Erdogan down play differences over Syria

They may be backing opposite sides in the continuing violence in Syria but neither Russian President Vladimir Putin nor Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan were going to let that upset their deepening trade and energy relations.

A flying visit by Putin to Istanbul ended with them agreeing to disagree over how to end the 20-month conflict.

“We share the same views about what is going on in Syria and about what has to be reached regarding the situation there. It’s just that we cannot find common ground on the method, on how to reach certain goals, such as reconciliation,” President Putin told journalists after talks with the Turkish premier.

Anti-Putin demonstrators made their presence felt – 250 of them marched outside the Russian consulate accusing Moscow of bolstering up the Assad regime while obstructing Turkish calls for international action.

Reporting for euronews, Bora Bayraktar said:

“The visit of Putin was short considering the weight of problems between the two countries. But it was long enough to underline how both value Turkish-Russian relations.”