Bryza: Erdogan’s letter to Putin – anticipated way to overcome Turkey-Russia diplomatic impasse

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s letter to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over the downed Su-24 bomber was long anticipated as a way the two leaders would overcome the diplomatic impasse between their countries, said Matthew Bryza, former US assistant secretary of state for South Caucasus, speaking to Trend June 27.

Bryza, who also formerly served as the US ambassador to Azerbaijan, was commenting on the letter sent today by Erdogan to Putin expressing condolences to the family of the pilot of the Su-24 bomber, downed in November 2015, as well as the regret over the incident.

“What is unclear, is whether President Erdogan actually used the expression ‘I apologize’,” says Bryza. “In any case, the Kremlin is calling Erdogan’s statement an apology, which will allow the countries to rebuild their damaged relations.”

“Such a sequence of developments was long anticipated, at least by me, as the way these two proud and strong leaders [Erdogan and Putin] would overcome the diplomatic impasse between their countries,” he said.

“Today is a big day for Turkey’s diplomacy with Ankara and Jerusalem also announcing agreement on the normalization of Turkey-Israel relations,” added Bryza.

Bryza believes that these two moves were foreshadowed in the first moments of Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s term in office, when he noted that “Turkey needed more friends in the world.”

“Bottom line: Putin claims Erdogan apologized, and Erdogan can claim he said something a little different. Both leaders save face and relations improve,” he said characterizing the developments.

Source: Trend