ANKARA, December 1 /TASS/. Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan stressed the need to create a common international platform for settling the Syrian crisis and fighting the “Islamic State” terrorist group.
President Putin and I have certain differences in approaches to the Syrian problem but after all we agree that it is necessary to find a settlement at this stage. We have some differences over how to carry out this settlement. In addition to that, we know what Russia is doing in this sphere and what measures it is taking. But we need joint steps to fight the “Islamic State”, Erdogan told a joint news conference with President Putin held after a meeting of the Russian-Turkish High-Level Cooperation Council.
Russia has vital tasks in the sphere of counteracting Islamists in Syria which can be implemented via Turkey and Iran, the Turkish president went on to say.
Erdogan called for focusing on the humanitarian side of the Syrian crisis rather than on religious aspect to create a solidarity platform.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said, in turn, that he and the Turkish leader had a common desire to prevent chaos in Syria and find a solution acceptable to the Syrian people and all political forces in the country.
“We are holding a common view that the situation in Syria cannot considered to be normal. We have a common opinion that we want to prevent chaos in /Syrian/ territory and do not want to allow terrorist organizations to get stronger like it was in Iraq where terrorists have seized almost 40% of the country’s territory. Nobody wants that,” Putin stressed.
“The question is how to create conditions under which all people living in the country will feel safe, have equal access to running the country and will wish to cooperate/with each other/. Naturally, we should find a solution acceptable to the Syrian people and all political forces in the country. We will stay in contact with all the participants in the /settlement/ process, including our friends in Turkey,” the Russian leader said.