Ankara and Moscow agree on the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday.
Erdogan's remarks came after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in capital Ankara.
'We have discussed regional issues including Iraq and Syria. We both agree on the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria,' Erdogan told a news conference with Putin.
'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 said.
The president also commented on Monday's illegitimate Kurdish independence referendum in northern Iraq, and reiterated that it had 'no legitimacy' in terms of Iraqi constitution and international law.
The referendum saw Iraqis in Kurdish Regional Government-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 Kurdish independence, although the vote was widely criticized by the international community.
Along with Iraq’s central government, Turkey, the U.S., Iran, and the UN had spoken out against the poll, warning it would distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region.
-De-escalation zones in Syria
Putin 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.
During a meeting in Kazakh capital Astana on May 4, the guarantor countries -- Russia, Turkey, and Iran -- signed a deal to establish de-escalation zones in Syria.
A December cease-fire in Syria brokered by three countries led to the Astana talks, which are being held in parallel to UN-backed discussions in Geneva, to find a political solution to the six-year conflict.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, according to the UN.
By Diyar Guldogan