Putin, Erdogan want to cooperate closely to end Syria conflict

ISTANBUL, dpa correspondents (dpa) – Russia and Turkey have agreed to cooperate closely to end the Syrian conflict and prevent the disintegration of Iraq, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday in Ankara after meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Putin said that, although the path had not been easy, conditions had been created in Syria for ending the war, "for total elimination of terrorists and the return of Syrians to peaceful life." He was speaking at a joint press conference with Erdogan during which both leaders described each other as friends.
Recently, Russia and Turkey, along with Iran, have been working together to designate civilian zones to be devoid of military conflict in the war-torn country.

Erdogan said that Moscow and Ankara support the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria, and that "Turkey will continue close cooperation with Russia for attaining a political solution to the crisis in Syria," state news agency Anadolu reported.
Erdogan reiterated his stance that the referendum conducted Monday in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, in which more than 92 per cent of participants voted in favour of establishing an independent state, had no legitimacy.
"Unfortunately the regional government, in conducting the referendum despite all friendly warnings, made a big mistake," Erdogan said.
Erdogan had previously threatened to cut exports from the Kurdish region of Iraq and did not rule out the possibility of military intervention.
Turkey and Russia recently managed to build stronger ties after relations were strained in 2015 when Turkey downed a Russian warplane along the Syrian border.
Earlier this month, Russia and Turkey signed a contract for Ankara to purchase the Russian-made S-400 missile defence system, raising concerns with Ankara's NATO ally the United States.

Friday, September 29th 2017
dpa correspondents

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