MOSCOW – Russia and Turkey will strengthen their efforts to fight terrorism, particularly in war-torn Syria and Iraq, Moscow said Tuesday in response to the assassination of Russia’s ambassador in Turkey.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu met in Moscow on Tuesday for a series of talks expected to focus on the fight against terrorism.
Both countries have denounced the attack on Ambassador Andrey Karlov at an art gallery on Monday evening as a provocation intended to disrupt a rapprochement in bilateral relations.
The gunman, identified as a Turkish law enforcement officer, shouted Islamist slogans and denounced Russia’s military support for the Syrian government in that country’s bloody civil war.
Turkish officials said they planned to name the street in which the Russian embassy resides in Ankara after the ambassador. “His name will live on in Ankara and in our hearts,” Cavusoglu said.
The foreign minister said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had accepted a recommendation from Russian President Vladimir Putin to establish a joint investigation into the attack.
Turkey and Russia support opposing sides in Syria and have been attempting to rebuild their relations in recent months after Turkish forces shot down a Russian warplane on the Turkish-Syrian border last year.
Lavrov expressed hope that Tuesday’s talks, which included Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, would lead to agreements on further collaboration in Syria, particularly to fight terrorism and improve the humanitarian situation in the country.
Meanwhile, a group of Russian investigators flew to Ankara to join the ongoing efforts to figure out who else could have been behind the assassination.
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