Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Russian FM Sergey Lavrov chaired the fourth meeting of the Turkey-Russia Joint Strategic Planning Group on Tuesday to discuss bilateral ties as well as regional issues, particularly Ukraine and Crimea.
The two foreign ministers exchanged views on regional problems as well as other prominent international issues, such as the ongoing civil war in Syria, developments in Ukraine and the situation of Crimean Tatars.
Davutoglu emphasized that Crimean Tatars are a fundamental element of Crimea and that their situation is of great importance to Turkey.
“The parties in Russia, Ukraine and Crimea should refrain from confrontation. Issues should be solved through the political process. We have agreed to keep in touch [with our Russian counterparts] regarding the situation of the Crimean Tatars,”- said Turkish FM.
The Joint Strategic Planning Group meeting is part of the preparations for the upcoming meeting of the High-Level Cooperation Council between Russia and Turkey- an intergovernmental cooperation mechanism.
Russia and Turkey agreed to launch the High-Level Cooperation Council in 2010. It is an intergovernmental body currently led by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that meets annually to review the country's relations.