Politics, World

Erdogan to discuss Syria with Putin in South Africa

Developments in Tal Rifat or Manbij are not going as desired, Turkish president says ahead of his visit to attend BRICS

25.07.2018
Erdogan to discuss Syria with Putin in South Africa

By Merve Aydogan

ANKARA

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said he will discuss developments in Syria with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during his trip to South Africa.

Speaking at a news conference in capital Ankara prior to his visit to Johannesburg where he will attend the BRICS Summit, Erdogan said: "Developments in Syria, whether in Tal Rifat or Manbij, are not going as desired.

“The only places that are going in the desired direction are Afrin, Jarabulus and Al Bab."

The president said issues in Idlib and Daraa will also be addressed during his meeting with Putin. "Anything can happen in these places at any time."

Last month, the Syrian regime -- with Russian air support -- launched a major military operation in Daraa, allowing it and its allies to establish control over most of Syria’s border with Jordan.

The fighting led to a major displacement crisis, with an estimated 350,000 civilians fleeing Daraa towards areas near the border.

Erdogan said he will attend the summit which will end on Friday in Johannesburg as the term president of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

His attendance at the summit will serve as the first high-level contact between Turkey and the BRICS bloc.

"The theme of the session that I will attend is 'Global South-South Cooperation'," Erdogan said. 

Erdogan drew attention to the importance of the BRICS Summit saying: "I see the summit as an important opportunity to enhance relations between Turkey and BRICS." 

"I believe that the African continent would change the future of our ever-changing world," he added.

The BRICS regional bloc is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, countries that share over 20 percent of the global economy and contribute around 17 percent to international trade.

On the sidelines of the summit, the president is expected to hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of all BRICS member states and other invited leaders.

In response to a question regarding Turkey's position on possible sanctions by the U.S. against Iran, Erdogan said: "One must note that ending relations with our other strategic partners in the world conflicts with Turkey's understanding of independence..."

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