Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's statement for the media following talks between President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Istanbul, January 8, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, in addition to the launch ceremony for the TurkStream gas pipeline that you witnessed, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan held intensive bilateral talks. They adopted a joint statement following the talks. I would like to highlight several points of this document.

The presidents confirmed their firm determination to advance and expand the bilateral partnership across all areas in every possible way.

As concerns the international agenda, they discussed the developments in the Persian Gulf triggered by the unlawful and very risky campaigns of the United States in Iraq against Iranian citizens, including Commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Qasem Soleimani. On account of the events of the past few days, the presidents spoke assertively in favour of resolving all the issues in the Persian Gulf and the region in general solely by peaceful means and in line with international law.

When it comes to Syria, President Putin and President Erdogan expressed determination to seek resolution of the Syrian crisis in all its aspects based on the documents that were adopted during the Astana process, and particularly emphasised their commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations according to the September 17, 2018 and October 22, 2019 memorandums.

The two leaders agreed upon a common stance regarding the Libyan settlement in accordance with UN Security Council decisions. I would like to underscore the appeal addressed by Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Libyan conflict parties, which is to immediately stop military action and declare a ceasefire from midnight on January 12, 2020, that is, starting from the morning hours on Sunday.

The presidents expressed their readiness to facilitate the success of the Berlin process promoting peace in Libya. President Putin and President Erdogan support inclusivity of the process both in terms of involving all the Libyan parties and bringing aboard Libya’s neighbours.

Foreign and defence ministers of Russia and Turkey were instructed to continue contacts in the days ahead in order to promote the approaches to the Libyan crisis stated above.

I would like to sincerely thank my colleague and friend, Foreign Minister of the Turkish Republic Mevlut Cavusoglu, for fruitful and constructive cooperation, as always.