Middle East

Vladimir Putin to visit Turkey on Dec 3: official

Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on October 10, 2012. AFP PHOTO / POOL / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV

ANKARA: Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to travel to Turkey on December 3, after he postponed his trip scheduled for next week, a source from the Turkish Prime Minister's office told AFP Thursday.

"The third high-level cooperation council will take place on Dec 3 in Ankara... under the co-chairmanship of the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Russian president," the source said.

Earlier on Thursday Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told AFP that the visit had been postponed, but he refused to comment on the original date, which Turkish media gave as October 15.

Peskov also refused to comment on whether the delay was made due to the tensions surrounding the Syrian conflict.

Earlier Thursday, the Russian foreign ministry demanded that Turkey explain its interception of a Syrian plane flying from Moscow, saying that Ankara had put the lives of passengers at risk by forcing it to land in the Turkish capital.

Turkey on Wednesday stopped the Syria-bound passenger plane with 35 people on board, including 17 Russian nationals, reportedly on suspicion that its cargo contained weapons and ammunition.





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