On April 21, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN and Russian counterpart Vladimir PUTIN discussed ways to combat the novel coronavirus in a phone call, and also agreed to continue close bilateral cooperation and regional developments, the Turkish Presidency’s Directorate of Communications said.
The Turkish and Russian presidents expressed their readiness to step up joint efforts in the fight against the coronavirus, including through the ministries of health and other relevant structures, as well as to continue close coordination to ensure the return of Russian and Turkish citizens to their homeland, the Kremlin said in a statement published on its website.
The two leaders also thoroughly examined the situation in Syria, including the implementation of agreements on the Idlib de-escalation zone, and reaffirmed their support for the territorial integrity of Syria. “At the same time, the importance of further close cooperation between Russia and Turkey through military and diplomatic channels was stressed,” the Kremlin said.
Additionally, PUTIN and ERDOĞAN reviewed the issues of Russian-Turkish cooperation, primarily in the trade and economic sphere, including the implementation of joint projects in the nuclear energy sector and the expansion of cooperation in the agricultural and transport sectors.
In March, Ankara and Moscow agreed on a protocol urging parties to “cease all military actions along the line of contact in the Idlib de-escalation area” starting on March 6. The protocol said joint Turkish-Russian patrols would begin on March 15 along the M4 highway from the settlement of Trumba – 2 kilometers to the west of Saraqib – to the settlement of Ain al-Havr. The M4 highway, also known as the Aleppo-Al-Hasakah road, is about 30 kilometers from Turkey’s southern border.
On April 21, Turkish and Russian military forces have carried out another joint patrol along a key highway in northwestern Syria, said Turkey’s Defense Ministry. “Fifth combined Turkish-Russian land patrol was conducted today by air and ground vehicles on M4 motorway in Syria’s Idlib province, as part of the earlier TR-RF agreement,” the ministry said on Twitter.
On April 21, ERDOĞAN also spoke with his French counterpart Emmanuel MACRON over the phone, according to the Communications Directorate. In a statement, the directorate said ERDOĞAN and MACRON exchanged views on issues ranging from the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic to bilateral relations and regional developments.
On April 22, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail MISHUSTIN and Turkish Vice President Fuat OKTAY have had a phone call to discuss measures against coronavirus and work to bring both countries’ citizens home as well as paid attention to issues of trade and economic cooperation and implementation of joint projects, the Russian cabinet’s press service reported.
“Mikhail MISHUSTIN and Fuat OKTAY exchanged opinions on measures taken in Russia and Turkey to curb the spread of coronavirus infection and organization of work to return citizens of the two countries. Special attention was placed on issues of trade and economic cooperation and joint efforts to boost bilateral trade. [They] also touched upon the topics of implementing large-scale industrial and energy projects, including the construction of Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in Turkey as well as operation of the TurkStream gas pipeline,” the statement says.
MISHUSTIN and OKTAY also agree to ramp up cooperation in transport and agriculture as well as other spheres that interest both parties, the service added.
This article was edited using the data from Dailysabah, AA, Turkishpress, Hurriyet, and TASS.
Source of the photo: Hurriyet.