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Putin invites Erdogan to opening of Central Mosque in Crimea

Putin said Erdogan was very positive about this invitation

SIMFEROPOL, March 18. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he has arrived Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the opening of the Central Mosque in Crimea.

"I’ve invited Turkish President Erdogan. He knows about that and, as far as I understand, he is very positive about this invitation. We’ll wait and see if he has the time and opportunity to arrive here," Putin said.

He recalled that Russia would be developing relations with Turkey and friends in other countries.

The idea of inviting Erdogan to the ceremony was mentioned by the Mufti of Crimea’s Muslims Hajji Emirali Ablaev.

"Let me invite you to the opening of the Central Mosque. It would be appropriate if you possibly decided to invite Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He will not reject your invitation," Ablaev said.

The Central Mosque in Simferopol will take up an area of 5,700 square meters and accommodate 2,600. It began to be built in October 2016. The finishing touches will be put to it at the end of 2019.

Putin said that all traditional religions, including Islam, were making tangible, constructive contributions to inter-religious peace.

Putin said Crimea’s Muslims had long dreamed of having their own Central Mosque.

"Ever more Muslims from this country have been making pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. We maintain contact with our friends in Saudi Arabia. They are very helpful in arranging such trips. We will keep working along these lines," Putin said.