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NATO Says Turkey Is 'Valued Ally' After Erdogan Visit to Russian Federation

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday's meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan was very important for the future of bilateral ties.

Tayyp Erdogan and Vladimir Putin also discussed the importance of the TurkStream pipeline project from to deliver natural gas from Russian Federation to Turkey.

Putin and Erdogan said they would start discussing the conflict after the press conference, but the Russian leader insisted both sides were committed to finding a peaceful solution. Moscow's military support for Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has been credited for helping to keep him in power.

However, there has been a thaw in relations in recent months, with Mr Putin accepting a personal expression of regret by Mr Erdogan over the incident as an apology. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the death toll as a result of the military coup attempt stood at 246 people excluding the coup plotters and over 2,000 people were wounded.

Analysts say that Erdogan may now be hoping to play the Russian card to strengthen his hand in disputes with the United States and European Union.

Turkey has demanded the USA extradite Islamic leader Fethullah Gulen, now living in Pennsylvania, whom the Turks say is responsible for the failed coup.




Ankara has repeatedly said the coup attempt was organized by followers of USA -based preacher Fetullah Gulen and FETO.

Turkey's rapprochement with Russian Federation also comes amid accusation of Ankara against the US for hosting Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen who the Turkish government claims the mastermind of the coup attempt. Washington has denied that.

Since July 19, Turkey has sent two bunches of documents to U.S.to extradite Gulen. Since then, about 18,000 people have been detained or arrested and almost 70,000 others suspected of links to Gulen have been suspended or dismissed from the civil service, judiciary, education, health care and the military.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are exclusively those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT. Ankara pushed for Assad's removal, but Moscow has continued to support his government with air strikes.

From Moscow Recep Tayyip Erdogan called President Vladimir Putin his "dear friend" and announced the resumption of Turkish Stream, a major infrastructural project of strategic value to Russian Federation.

The Turkish president seemed more sanguine about the restoration of friendly relations with Russian Federation to their pre-November levels, notwithstanding differences between the two nations on several fronts, notably over Syria, Ukraine, Armenia and Cyprus.

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