Turkish President Erdoğan speaks with Saudi King Salman by phone
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz discussed bilateral relations and issues concerning Syria in a phone call late on Feb. 13, according to Turkish presidential sources.
During the phone call, Erdoğan discussed Turkey’s ongoing “Operation Olive Branch” in Syria’s Afrin district against the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Erdoğan said the operation - launched on Jan. 20 - is being supported by Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens “who were forced by terrorists [YPG militants] to flee Afrin,” adding that it will allow local citizens to return home.
Erdoğan and the Saudi king emphasized on 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 Erdoğan said the Astana process and the Sochi Congress are essential parts of the Geneva talks. Talks in Geneva, Astana and Sochi are held by actors involved in the Syrian war seeking to find a solution to the seven-year-long conflict.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia also reaffirmed their determination to further enhance bilateral relations.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s “fruitful” visit to Saudi Arabia in December 2017 was also discussed during the phone call.
Erdoğan 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.