Putin Erdogan Discuss Regional Stability from Caucasus to Cyprus

SOCHI (RIA Novosti)–Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed stability in the Caucasus–the situation in Iraq and Iran–and the Cyprus problem. "We focused on the issue of strengthening stability in the Caucasus and the Black Sea basin," Putin said–at a press conference in Sochi after talks with the Turkish Prime Minister. Putin gave assurances that Russia would continue to help resolve the Cyprus problem. "We are absolutely convinced that the UN Secretary General is moving in the right direction," he said.

Putin also said everyone knows how the situation is developing on Cyprus. "First–we must resolve the problem of the economic isolation of a part of the island–create conditions for normal relations between the two parts–and on this basis fully normalize the situation in the interests of all people living there," he said.

"We will think about what can be done by Russia and the island’s two parts to resolve these issues," the Russian president said.

Putin and Erdogan said it was necessary to address the conflict over Mountainous Karabagh.

"I was satisfied to hear the Russian position that it was time to start settling the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict," Erdogan said.

He added that he and Putin also discussed the situation in Iraq–Iran–and anti-terrorism efforts.

"We expressed once again our resolve to fight international terrorists–who are carrying out attacks against innocent people–defenseless women–and children," Erdogan said.

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