Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to pay a two-day official visit to Russia next Thursday to discuss regional and international issues, primarily the ongoing crisis in Syria, Todays Zaman reported.
Erdogan, accompanied by Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız, Economy Minister Zafer Chaglayan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, will attend the fourth meeting of the High Level Cooperation Council (ÜDİK), which was created between the two countries on May 12, 2010 and was later transformed into a mechanism that serves as a joint meeting of cabinet ministers.
Erdogan is expected to have a tête-a-tête with Russian President Vladimir Putin and discuss the Syrian crisis, Iran's nuclear proliferation and the events in Egypt.
Russia and Turkey disagree on the Syrian crisis, with Moscow supporting the regime of Bashar al-Assad and Ankara backing the opposition, which has been struggling to oust the Syrian regime in the more than two-and-a-half-year crisis.
Erdogan and Putin are also expected to discuss the role of Assad in a transitional government and to work on the content and date of an international conference, known as Geneva II, which aims to bring together representatives from the Syrian regime and the opposition coalition. The parties that are working to start the Geneva II talks have so far been unable to determine a date for the conference.
Erdogan will discuss cooperation in the fields of economy, tourism and energy with top Russian officials.
The two countries will ink several agreements on health and other fields during the high-level visit to Russia by Turkish officials.