Erdogan: Putin appreciated Turkey’s positions internationally

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, valued Turkey’s positions on the international scene.

This came in press statements after his participation in a meeting at the Justice and Development Party headquarters in Ankara.

In response to a question about the phone call between him and President Putin and the date of the latter’s expected visit to Turkey, President Erdogan stated that the visit “is not in the near future,” but Putin informed him that he “will conduct the visit without delay.”

President Erdogan also pointed out that Putin expressed his deep welcome for Turkey’s positions on the international arena.

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On Monday, Putin congratulated President Erdogan on his birthday in a phone call and thanked him for his contributions to strengthening Turkish-Russian relations.

Regarding whether his recent meeting with two members of the US Senate opens the door to Turkey’s return to the F-35 fighter program, President Erdogan stated that Ankara is currently focusing on the issue of F-16 fighters more than the F-35.

He said: “We discussed with members of the US Senate the steps we will take regarding the F-16 aircraft,” referring to the recent visit made by Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Chris Murphy to Turkey.

It is noteworthy that the US Congress recently gave the green light to sell 40 new F-16 fighters to Turkey, in addition to modernizing its current fleet of F-16 fighters.