Turkey, World

Turkey, Russia to cooperate on anti-terrorism: Lavrov

A joint anti-terrorism committee is set to be reactivated between Turkey and Russia, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says

Sibel Uğurlu   | 01.07.2016
Turkey, Russia to cooperate on anti-terrorism: Lavrov


By Elena Teslova, Emre Gurkan Abay and Yildiz Aktas


Turkey and Russia are set to cooperate in the fight against terrorism, as the two countries are in the process of normalizing relations following months of strained ties, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

Lavrov said an anti-terrorism joint committee by Turkey and Russia would be reactivated at a meeting of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation's (BSEC) Council of Foreign Ministers in Sochi on Friday.

He said Turkey and Russia had no divergence on "who is [a] terrorist and who is not [a terrorist] in Syria," and that the cooperation between two countries would therefore "be fruitful".

Lavrov's comments came after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke on Wednesday via telephone and agreed to normalize relations.

Ties between the two nations had been strained in recent months after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet that violated its airspace in November.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday sanctions would be lifted in accordance with instructions by Putin and that restrictions would be “gradually” lifted in order to prevent harm to Russian producers.

Russia would also demand guarantees by the Turkish government to ensure the safety of Russian tourists, Medvedev said.

After Putin signed a decree Thursday afternoon, lifting the ban on charter flights to Turkey, some Russian tour operations, including Tez Tour and Pegas, resumed holiday package sales.

Turkish Airlines and Russian Aeroflot companies will provide flights for the holiday packages.

Meanwhile, Basaran Ulusoy, the president of TURSAB, the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, told Anadolu Agency that it would "not be realistic to expect everything to normalize soon".

However, Ulusoy said the association plans to keep the tourism season for a longer period of time to host more Russian tourists.

*Anadolu Agency Correspondent Sibel Ugurlu contributed to this report from Ankara.

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