World Bulletin / News Desk
Ankara and Moscow have agreed to deepen bilateral ties, Turkey’s president said on Monday.
"We have agreed to deepen our relations," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a news conference with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the presidential residence in the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi, following a meeting between the two leaders.
Erdogan added that he was “pleased” that relations between Ankara and Moscow have reached a "very advanced level".
"Of course, we do not find this level satisfactory. Both sides agree that our countries and people should be closer and have stronger cooperation in every area," he added.
He said he had visited Russia three times this year and met Putin for the sixth time, adding that "intense" diplomacy continues.
He reiterated Turkey's desire to increase bilateral trade to $100 billion, but added to achieve this aim, "all restrictions [against Turkey], including the visa ban on businessmen," must be lifted.
"At this point it is important to restore the visa exemption regime," Erdogan said.
Erdogan said consultations between the countries for lifting all trade obstacles are continuing.
After Turkey shot down a Russian military jet over an airspace violation in November 2015, Moscow took several measures against Ankara, including banning the imports of Turkish agricultural products and ending visa-free travel for Turks.
In June, Moscow lifted the ban on some agricultural produce as well as Turkish firms involved in construction, engineering, and tourism.
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