Reflections

What the Restored Turkey-Russia Relationship Means for the Middle East

Aug 12, 2016 | 03:20 GMT
What the Restored Turkey-Russia Relationship Means for the Middle East
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met near St. Petersburg on Aug. 9. The Turkey-Russia relationship is rapidly evolving.
(ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Perhaps nothing epitomizes the cozier relationship between Russia and Turkey better than the lunch Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin had from plates painted with a picture of the two shaking hands -- but potential joint airstrikes on the Islamic State come close. On Thursday, Turkey and Russia began meetings in St. Petersburg focused specifically on how to address the Syrian conflict under the framework of a "trilateral mechanism." It is clear that Russia and Turkey are not alone in seeing the value in their alignment. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is expected to meet with his Turkish counterpart and Erdogan on Aug. 12 in Ankara, and rumors are circulating that the dialogue between Iran, Russia and Turkey could soon expand to also directly include Syria....

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