President Erdogan, King Salman discuss bilateral relations, Syria’s territorial integrity over phone
By Ilkay Guder
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz discussed bilateral relations and issues concerning Syria in a phone call late Tuesday, according to presidential sources.
During the phone call, Erdogan discussed Turkey’s ongoing Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s Afrin province against PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists.
The operation, launched on Jan. 20, is supported by the Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens who were forced by the terrorists to flee Afrin, Erdogan said, adding it will allow local citizens to return home.
Erdogan and his Saudi counterpart emphasized Syria’s territorial integrity and the importance of a political solution to the Syrian crisis and asserted the benefit of joint efforts and cooperation regarding the matter.
The Saudi King expressed support for the Geneva process and international efforts regarding the Syria matter while President Erdogan said the Astana process and Sochi Congress are essential parts of the Geneva talks.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia also reaffirmed their determination to further enhance bilateral relations.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s “fruitful” visit to Saudi Arabia in December 2017 was also discussed during the phone call.
President Erdogan and King Salman stated that Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman’s upcoming visit to Turkey carries great importance in terms of exchanging views on bilateral and regional matters.