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Erdogan, Putin issue joint statement on Libya, Iran and Syria

(Xinhua)    07:25, January 09, 2020

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) meets with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Istanbul, Turkey, Jan. 8, 2020. Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin on Wednesday called for restraint and diplomacy to avoid "a new cycle of instability" in the Middle East amid growing Iran-U.S. tensions. (Turkish Presidency/Handout via Xinhua)

ISTANBUL, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday issued a joint statement on the civil war of Libya, crisis in Iran and developments in Syria after their consecutive meetings in Istanbul.

The two leaders called on all parties in Libya for the establishment of an immediate cease-fire and to stop all hostilities.

They said the cease-fire should be sustainable and "supported by the necessary measures to be taken for stabilizing the situation on the ground and normalizing daily life in Tripoli and other cities."

The North African country has been torn by a raging civil war, between the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) based in the capital Tripoli and the Libyan National Army and its allies based in the east.

On Sunday, Erdogan said Turkey is "gradually" sending troops to Libya under a deal inked with the GNA.

On the growing aggression between the United States and Iran, the two presidents called on both sides to act with restraint and prioritize diplomacy.

"The use of force does not contribute to finding solutions to complex problems in the Middle East, but ... would lead to a new cycle of instability," the statement said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iran fired missiles targeting U.S. military in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, near the Baghdad airport in Iraq in a U.S. drone strike.

Erdogan and Putin also reiterated their commitment to the preservation of sovereignty, independence, political unity and territorial integrity of Syria.

Turkey and Russia are at odds over the offensive of Russian-backed Syrian government forces on the country's last rebel-stronghold in the northwestern province of Idlib, which prompted a new flow of refugees toward the Turkish border.

"We underscore the necessity to establish calm in the Idlib de-escalation area by fully implementing all agreements on Idlib," the statement said.

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(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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