Ankara wants to maintain solidarity with Russia in the defense industry, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.
"We want to continue our solidarity [with Russia] in many areas of the defense industry. It can be on passenger or fighter aircraft. The whole thing is the spirit of solidarity," Erdogan said at a news conference with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
Earlier Tuesday, Erdogan and Putin attended the inauguration ceremony of the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2019, one of the world’s leading events in its field.
Putin showed Erdogan Su-57 fighter jet at the air show, the last generation Russian stealth aircraft. The leaders also examined Su-35 fighter jets, Ka-52 military helicopter and Mi-38 transport helicopter.
During the news conference, Putin said the two countries can conduct joint work on Su-35 fighter jets and cooperate on Su-57.
"We have many opportunities. We demonstrated the new arms systems and new systems of electronic warfare," he said.
"Many things intrigued our Turkish partners and not only from a purchasing point of view but also from joint production angle. By the way, we are ready for this and will discuss certain directions," he added.
"Erdogan's visit has been an opportunity to discuss joint perspective projects not only in aviation but also in other domains such as the S-400," Putin said.
Both presidents said that the second batch of S-400 air defense systems have been delivered to Murted Airbase in the capital Ankara.
- 'Regime spreading death in Idlib unacceptable'
About the recent attacks in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, Erdogan said the region faces a "humanitarian crisis" as more than 500 civilians were killed and more than 1,200 others injured since May in the Bashar Al-Assad regime attacks.
Turkey and Russia agreed last September to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
The Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the zone.
The de-escalation zone is currently home to some four million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces from throughout the war-weary country.
"It is unacceptable that the regime spreads death both from land and air under the pretext of fighting terrorism," Erdogan said.
He said Turkey can fulfill its responsibility within Sochi deal "if the regime ends attacks" there.
Erdogan said Turkey is ready to cooperate within Astana format to ensure "tranquility" in Idlib.
"Our aim is to stop the bloodshed and to get our neighbor Syria a peaceful environment that it has been longing for eight years," he added.
Erdogan said, however, Turkey has to protect its borders since the "harassment" from Syrian side continues.
Putin, for his part, said Russia understands Turkey’s concerns over the security situation of its border with Syria.
"It [Turkey] needs to ensure its border security. This is Turkey's legitimate right," he added.
Putin also said that the situation in Idlib raises a "serious" concern, adding that Russia and Turkey have a common understanding on how to solve the problem as both countries support Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
He said that they also discussed the organization process of the Syrian constitutional committee and expressed hope that the body would be able to start the work in the near future.
"We believe that currently the priority is to focus on the final stabilization of the situation on the ground and promotion of the political process," Putin added.
Both presidents said that the two countries are working closely under Astana format.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.
- Bilateral ties
Putin said that the bilateral relations are developing on the principles of friendship and mutual respect.
He added TurkStream natural gas pipeline and Akkuyu nuclear plant projects are carried out according to the schedule.
The Russian president also said Turkey has a popularity among Russian tourists and Moscow is grateful to Turkey for providing security and favorable conditions for them.
Erdogan said Turkey hosted 2.7 million Russian tourists in the first half of 2019.
Putin added that Moscow and Ankara are in preparation to celebrate 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2020.
By Diyar Guldogan in Ankara and Elena Teslova in Moscow