Erdoğan, Merkel discuss developments in Syria, Libya

Erdoğan, Merkel discuss developments in Syria, Libya

ANKARA-Anadolu Agency
Erdoğan, Merkel discuss developments in Syria, Libya

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss Syria and Libya, an official statement said on Dec. 29.

According to the statement issued by Turkey’s Directorate of Communications, the two leaders also addressed the bilateral relations and regional developments.

The phone talk came after Ankara and Libya's U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) signed on Nov. 27 two separate pacts, one on military cooperation and the other on maritime boundaries of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Separately, Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.       

Ankara wants to clear east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria of the terrorist group PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.         

The U.S.-backed SDF, a group dominated by the YPG, has been controlling some 28 percent of the Syrian territories, including the most of the 911-kilometer-long Syria-Turkey border.

Turkey deems the YPG the Syrian offshoot of the illegal PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization also by the United States and the EU.

Erdoğan, Nazarbayev speak over the phone

Erdoğan on Dec. 29 also held a phone conversation with the first president of Kazakhstan.

According to a statement issued by the Directorate of Communications, Erdoğan discussed the nations' bilateral cooperation with Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan's founding president.

Erdoğan also expressed hope that Turkey’s cooperation with Kazakhstan on both bilateral and multilateral platforms will further develop in the future.

On March 19, Nazarbayev announced his resignation and five days after to honor him, Kazakhstan renamed the capital Nur-sultan, formerly Astana.

Nazarbayev became honorary president of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (Turkic Council) on May 24.