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Erdogan returns empty-handed from talks with Putin, Raisi

Erdogan fails to enlist Russian and Iranian support for a fresh Turkish military operation in Syria, but he remains bent on maintaining the pressure.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L), Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (C) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan returned without any concrete results from talks with his Russian and Iranian counterparts in Tehran, to which he went with a thick dossier of bilateral problems. The many strains in Turkey’s ties with Russia and Iran remain unrelieved, and Erdogan’s quest for a green light for a new military intervention in Syria remains unanswered.

For Erdogan, the July 19 gathering held as part of the three-way Astana platform on Syria was a long-awaited face-to-face with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Ebrahim Raisi. Erdogan had repeatedly sought to host Putin in Turkey as part of his mediation efforts in the Ukraine war but to no avail. A preliminary deal reached last week on an export corridor for Ukrainian grain via Turkey paved the way for the two leaders’ meeting. And his plan for a bilateral visit to Tehran, mooted since December, had been postponed twice. 

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