Vladimir Putin is scheduled to hold talks on Tuesday, August 27, with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the MAKS air show in Moscow. The two presidents will discuss their differences on the Syrian conflict.
This surprise visit comes a few days after a Turkish military convoy was targeted during air raids in Syria. On the ground, President Bashar al-Assad's forces are making progress thanks to Russia's support, which has resulted in renewed tension with Turkey in northwestern Syria.
The lighting of our correspondent in Turkey, Ludovic de Foucauld
"Putin's position is clear since Russia's intervention in the Syrian conflict: to help the Syrian ally rebuild its territorial integrity, to help Bashar al-Assad reconquer areas that are still beyond his control, including Idleb" says Ludovic de Foucaud, France 24 correspondent in Turkey.
"The Russians, however, accuse the Turks of being active supporters of the rebels on the spot," said Ludovic de Foucaud. Opposing Bashar al-Assad, Turkey supports Syrian rebel groups and has intervened militarily in the conflict against Syrian Kurds and jihadists. Ankara has been deploying forces in Idleb and Hama provinces for nearly two years. But the Idleb region was supposed to be protected by an agreement on a "demilitarized zone", unveiled in September 2018 by Turkey and Russia to separate government zones from jihadist and insurgent territories.
"The Turks want to avoid the formation of a continental continuum between the Kurds of Syria and Iraq," says Ludovic de Foucauld. In addition, "Erdogan wants to ensure that there will not be a new influx of Syrian migrants to Turkey Politically, Erdogan can not get a new arrival."
Recep Tayyip Erdogan should receive his Russian and Iranian counterparts for a summit on Syria on September 16 in Ankara. Iran and Russia are allied with Bashar al-Assad but are seeking a political resolution to the conflict with Turkey.
Since the end of April, Syria and Russia have increased their bombing of the Idleb region, killing more than 860 civilians.