Turkish, Russian and Iranian leaders meet in Tehran on Tuesday

Turkish, Russian and Iranian leaders meet in Tehran on Tuesday
Update: 18 July 2022 19:02
A+ A-
As Russia seeks to increase its influence in the Middle East, Turkey focuses on its plans for a new incursion into Northern Syria

In a second visit abroad since the invasion began in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Tuesday in a bid to strengthen ties with the two countries.

Putin’s visit comes right after Biden’s Middle East tour where he said on Saturday that the “US would not walk away from the region and leave a vacuum to be filled by China, Russia or Iran.”

The White House released satellite imagery that indicates Russian officials have recently visited Iran to see weapons-capable drones it is looking to acquire for use in its war in Ukraine, a sign that shows Iran and Russia, both victims of US sanctions, are on their way to become military and trading partners. 

Turkey gets ready for Syria offensive

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will focus more on the situation in northern Syria during the visit.

The summit comes as Turkey plans to launch a new offensive in northern Syria where it aspires to create a 30 km deep safe zone against Kurdish militants it deems terrorists.

Iran, has already warned that any Turkish military action in Syria could "destabilise the region".

Russia also expressed hope that Turkey would "refrain" from launching an attack on Syria.

Deal on Ukrainian grain

Erdogan and Putin are expected to finalize a deal on the resumption of Ukrainian grain exports in a sideline meeting.

Erdogan spoke by phone on Monday with Putin and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, seeking an agreement to relax Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian seaports and allow grain exports to resume.

Ukraine is a major agricultural exporter and Russia’s blockade of its ports since ebruary has left million of tons of grain stuck in silos, raising fears of global famine.