Dec 1, 2014 3:04 AM

Putin to visit Turkey amid Syria differences

The Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) Russian President Vladimir Putin is traveling to Turkey for discussions on economic ties and the crisis in Syria and Iraq.

Russia and Turkey have opposing positions on Syria's crisis but Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are expected to downplay differences to concentrate on trade ties when they meet on Monday. Russia is Syrian leader Bashar Assad's closest ally while Turkey wants to see him deposed.

The two countries are important trade partners. Russia provides the bulk of Turkey's gas and is set to build its first nuclear plant. Turkish construction firms are active in Russia.

Putin arrives a day after Pope Francis wrapped up his Turkish visit with prayers for peace in Ukraine.


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