Putin and Erdogan hold first phone talk since jet downing
The two leaders spoke as they sought to mend ties over the November incident that saw Moscow slap sanctions on Ankara.
“The president’s phone call with president Putin has just ended,” a Turkish official told reporters in Ankara.
“The two leaders had a very productive and positive conversation. A written statement will be made shortly.”
The Kremlin confirmed that the conversation was taking place.
It also said that Putin, at an event with schoolchildren in Moscow earlier on Wednesday, also expressed his sympathy over a triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport that killed at least 36 people.
“President Putin expressed condolences to the Turkish people over the monstrous terrorist attack,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
The breakthrough phone call came after the Turkish strongman on Monday sent a letter to Putin that Moscow said contained an apology.
The downing of the plane in November shattered ties between the two nations and saw Moscow slap an embargo on Turkish food products and ban charter flights and the sale of package tours to the country.
It also sparked a bitter war of words between the two strongman leaders with Putin calling it a “stab in the back” and demanding an apology from Erdogan.
Ankara has said Erdogan expressed his “regret” over the incident in the letter to Putin and asked the family of the pilot who died to “excuse us”, but has not explicitly confirmed he apologised for shooting down the plane.