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04 April 2018, 01:15 | Damon Campbell
Iran, Russia, Turkey team up to hold sway in Syria
Erdogan said standing next to Putin at the presidential palace in Ankara as he ordered through a video link the launch of the $20 billion dollar Akkuyu nuclear power plant project.
The agreement with Russian Federation doesn't prevent Turkey from participating in ongoing talks with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to discuss their offer for another missile system.
The Turkish President also highlighted the "important" relations with Russia in the last 15 years, referring to a deal with Moscow to purchase long-range S-400 missile defense systems as well as the Turkstream natural gas pipeline plans to transport Russian gas.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin shake hands during a meeting in Ankara, Turkey April 3, 2018.
In December, they finalized a deal for Turkey to purchase Russia's long-range S-400 missile defense system, raising eyebrows among some of Turkey's fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members.
In March Britain blames Russia for the poisoning on its soil of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury.
According to Russian press reports, Turkey has also been hugely interested in a technology transfer and even joint production of the S-400s with Russia, a prospect that has been resisted by some in the Moscow security services.
Erdogan and Putin met eight times previous year and regularly speak on the phone.
The Akkuyu plant is being built by Russia's nuclear energy agency, Rosatom.
Putin and Erdogan - who have both led their post-imperial states out of economic crisis but also into a new era of confrontation with the West - have forged an increasingly close alliance in recent months. All three countries are heavily involved in the war-torn Arab state and now sponsoring peace efforts to bring the conflict to an end.
This will be the first such object to be built in Turkey.
Tewfik Shuman, a Lebanese political analyst, said that the new efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis will have to take into account the new realities on the field.
Erdogan and Putin are expected to discuss the relations on energy industry and other current projects.
The cooperation comes despite their positions on opposing sides in the Syrian conflict with Moscow siding with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Turkey supporting his foes since the start of the Syrian war seven years ago.
Turkey backs the moderate Syrian opposition, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), while Russian Federation supports the regime leader Bashar al Assad.
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