Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Patrick Stewart would have joined the call

Downing Street press briefing, 31 March --

When asked whether the Prime Minister had had a chance to congratulate Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on local election results the PMS [spokesman] responded that the Turkish election was a local election and it was not usual precedent to congratulate national leaders except following victories in national elections.

Kremlin website, 31 March --

At Russia’s initiative, Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The President congratulated Mr Erdogan on the convincing victory of his Justice and Development Party in the municipal elections held in Turkey on March 30.

Vladimir Putin looks at a map and notices that Turkey is a critical player on Black Sea issues, e.g. Crimea, and Syria. So even though he and Turkey are in disagreement on both, he picks up the phone and congratulates Mr Erdogan, on what everyone -- especially his opponents -- had billed on a referendum on his rule.

But David Cameron had something more important than coalition-sustaining on Crimea and Syria to attend to.