Astana to determine future of Syria peace talks, Erdoğan says
Turkish President Erdoğan told reporters at a news conference in Kazakhstan that the outcome of Astana will determine the success of Geneva process.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan arrived in the Kazakh capital Astana on Saturday for an official two-day visit.
Deputy Prime Minister Hakan Çavuşoğlu, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Presidential aide İbrahim Kalın and Turkey's Ambassador to Astana Nevzat Uyanık also attended the meeting between Erdoğan and Nazarbayev.
Erdoğan said that preliminary work for the upcoming Astana Summit which will be held Sept. 14 has been finished and added that the steps taken toward establishing peace in Syria will hopefully be finalized in Astana.
Speaking at a news conference with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana, Erdoğan said that the outcome of Astana will determine the success of Geneva process.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday praised his Kazakh counterpart for his support against terror
In a joint press conference with Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana, Erdoğan said Turkey not only fought the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) for its own sake, but for its allies.
"We will hopefully eliminate this gang that threatens the national security of both countries by joining hands. We will improve our cooperation in fighting terror organizations such as Daesh, FETO, and al-Qaeda", he said.
Ankara accuses the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen of orchestrating the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Turkey has also suffered from a number of attacks by Daesh, including the Ankara train station bombing in October 2015 that killed more than 100 people.
Erdoğan said Turkey and Kazakhstan established a strategic partnership in 2009, which turned into a corporate mechanism in 2012, the Turkey-Kazakhstan High Level Strategic Cooperation Council.
Nazarbayev said: "We exchanged ideas about organizing the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council. We came to agreement on economic, commercial, and investment relations as well."
- SYRIAN CRISIS
He said Kazakhstan was a country that Turkey gives importance and priority to in terms of economic and commercial partnership, and that Turkey will host Nazarbayev next year for a new meeting.
Erdoğan and Nazarbayev will also attend the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit on Sunday. About 70 committee members of 57 countries are expected to attend the summit.
Nazarbayev stressed that Turkey was one of the closest and trustworthy political and economic partners of Kazakhstan and that high level meetings should be done more frequently.
Nazarbayev said they contributed to finding a solution to the Syrian crisis by holding talks in Astana.
"Turkey contributes to the talks as a guarantor. Violence in Syria had decreased as a result of the talks," he said.
Erdoğan earlier mentioned the Sept. 14 Astana summit, saying it was crucial to the Geneva peace talks process.
The Geneva talks on Syria are expected to take place after those in Astana, but there is no scheduled date.
- PEACE TALKS
Several rounds of peace talks -- in both Geneva and Kazakh capital Astana -- have so far failed to end the Syrian conflict, in which hundreds of thousands of civilians are believed to have been killed to date.
Turkey and Iran, along with Russia, are the brokers for the Astana peace talks on Syria. At the latest round of talks in May, the three countries announced plans to establish "de-escalation zones" throughout the war-ravaged state.
During May talks in Kazakh capital Astana, Turkey (which supports the Syrian opposition) agreed with Russia and Iran (which support the Assad regime) on a plan to establish a network of "de-escalation zones" in different regions of war-torn Syria.