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Putin tightens Turkey alliance with $20bn N-project, Syria talks

ANKARA: President Vladimir Putin embarked on a two day visit to Russia’s increasingly close partner Turkey to launch the construction of its first nuclear power plant and coordinate policy on the war in Syria.
Putin was to hold an afternoon of talks with his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan before the two leaders are joined on Wednesday by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for a summit devoted to Syria.
Their meeting in Ankara opened with Putin and Erdogan, via video conference, launching construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power station in the Mediterranean Mersin region, a $20 billion massive project that will come online in five years.
In a sign of the importance of the alliance, Putin’s visit to Turkey is his first trip abroad since he won a historic fourth presidential mandate in March 18 polls.
Putin and Erdogan — who have both led their post-imperial states out of economic crisis but also into a new era of confrontation with the West — have forged an increasingly close alliance in recent months.
The Russian leader was driven to the vast presidential palace surrounded by an escort of Turkish troops in ceremonial dress on horseback and was warmly greeted by Erdogan who was waiting in person at the gate.