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Erdogan's personalized diplomacy with Putin may have been point of Sochi summit

The latest summit between the Turkish and Russian presidents in Sochi may have been more about style than substance.
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi on Sept. 29, 2021.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, came together for the first time in 18 months in the Russian Black Sea city of Sochi Sept. 29 for talks that were expected to focus on resurging tensions in Syria’s rebel-held province of Idlib.

The two leaders had last met on March 5, 2020, in Moscow to hammer out a cease-fire deal after a violent escalation in Idlib that claimed the lives of scores of Turkish soldiers. Erdogan and Putin have had 26 face-to-face meetings since a severe crisis in bilateral ties over Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet in November 2015.

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