ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin met on Wednesday in Istanbul for the inauguration of the strategic TurkStream gas pipeline, which will bring natural gas to Moscow through the Black Sea.
This latest face-to-face meeting between the two leaders is coming at a critical moment for the region, and talks are expected to focus in particular on the crises in Syria, Libya, and Iraq.
Putin arrived in Turkey on Tuesday evening from Syria, where he visited Damascus for the first time since the start of the civil war there and held a surprise meeting with Syrian President Bashar al Assad.
The meeting with Assad was in preparation for talks with Erdogan on Idlib, which is the main unresolved issue in the conflict.
Intensified airstrikes by Moscow and Damascus against the last rebel stronghold in Idlib in recent weeks have provoked a new migratory wave of about 250,000 people towards the Turkish border.
The other key topic is that of Libya, where Erdogan announced a "gradual" sending of troops in support of the Government of National Accord (GNA) of Fayez al-Sarraj against the offensive by the forces of General Khalifa Haftar, backed by Putin.
The two leaders will discuss a possible ceasefire, which would open the way to a de facto division of the country between the regions of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica.
The leaders are also expected to talk about Iraq to try to stop the escalation between Iran and the US following the killing of General Qassem Soleimani and Tehran's response against the US bases in Iraq.
Source: ANSA News Agency