Turkish president meets UN secretary general in Turkey

Turkish president meets UN secretary general in Turkey
# 11 February 2017 20:35 (UTC +04:00)

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Saturday discussed the fight against terrorism and the situation in Syria, according to a statement issued by the presidential spokesman, APA reports quoting AA.

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin's statement came after Erdogan met Guterres in Istanbul on Saturday.

Kalin said Guterres had thanked the Turkish government for its outstanding generosity in hosting millions of refugees from Syria and Iraq.

During the meeting, Erdogan and the secretary general discussed the situation in Syria and the ongoing diplomatic efforts towards ending the conflict. Guterres emphasized that Turkey was “a key country” for a solution to the Syrian crisis, Kalin added.

The UN also released an official statement to share details of the meeting.

“The Secretary General was grateful that the Astana conference was held in support of the Geneva process. The Secretary General underscored the need to fight terrorism and extremists in Syria but [added] that effort would not be successful without a political solution supported by the people of country,” the UN statement said.

A January meeting in Astana saw Russia, Turkey and Iran agree to a trilateral mechanism for observing and ensuring compliance with a cease-fire that came into effect on Dec. 30. Representatives of the Syrian government and armed opposition groups also attended the meeting.

Saturday marked the last of a two-day visit for Guterres, his first in Turkey as head of the UN. He met Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Friday.