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Turkey,Russia back territorial integrity of Iraq,Syria

ANKARA-UNS- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and President of Russia, Vladimir Putin (L) hold a joint press conference following their meeting, at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on September 28, 2017. (AA)
Ankara and Moscow agree on the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said while addressing a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

The joint press conference followed a meeting between the Turkish and Russian presidents at the Presidential Complex in Ankara.

“We have discussed regional issues including Iraq and Syria. We both agree on the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria,” Erdogan said.

“As Turkey and Russia, we have reconfirmed our determination to maintain our joint will and close cooperation to find a political solution for the Syrian conflict,” he further said.

TRT World’s Hasan Abdullah reports from Ankara.Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Ankara and Moscow would work to “deepen coordination” on ending the over six-year civil war in Syria.

He said the establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria had given “significant momentum” to the Geneva process, referring to the peace talks between the Syrian regime and opposition envoys.

“It was really difficult to carry out the workings of these de-escalation zones,” Putin said, adding however, an important achievement had been made thanks to Erdogan’s efforts and will in this regard.

He further said that the “necessary conditions” now existed for the conflict to end.

Commenting on the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) referendum in northern Iraq, Turkey’s president Erdogan reiterated that it had “no legitimacy” in terms of Iraqi constitution and international law.

The referendum saw Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas – and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad, including ethnically mixed Kirkuk and Mosul – vote on whether or not to declare independence.

Official preliminary results revealed that 93 percent of voters backed the KRG, although the vote was widely criticised by the international community.

Along with Iraq’s central government, Turkey, the US, Iran, and the UN had spoken out against the poll, warning it would distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilise the region.

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