UN chief meets Erdogan during Turkish visit

Istanbul (IINA) � UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres met here on Saturday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the situations in Syria, Iraq and Cyprus.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed the Syrian conflict and the ongoing diplomatic efforts to end it, said a statement issued by UN chief’s spokesperson. The Secretary General said he was grateful that the Astana conference was held in support of the Geneva process, the statement said.

The talks between the Syrian regime and the opposition brokered by Russia and Turkey were held in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, on January 23-24. The UN-facilitated intra-Syrian talks are scheduled to resume in Geneva on February 20. The Secretary-General underscored the need to fight terrorism and extremism in Syria but that effort would not be successful without a political solution supported by the people of the country, the statement added.

On Iraq, the UN chief stressed the need that the ongoing operations to liberate Mosul and other areas from Daesh/ISIL not exacerbate sectarianism but instead be a symbol of national reconciliation.

The secretary general commended Turkey for its outstanding generosity in hosting millions of refugees from Syria and Iraq. Guterres and Erdogan also discussed the latest developments in the peace process in Cyprus, according to the statement.

Source: International Islamic News Agency (IINA)