Erdogan tells Putin Syria should take political steps for Turkish border security

Erdogan tells Putin Syria should take political steps for Turkish border security
A+ A-
In a phone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said it was necessary for Turkey to eliminate perceived threats from Tell Rifaat and Manbij. Erdogan also asked Putin to declare a unilateral ceasefire in Ukraine

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said during a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday that Syria should take "political" steps to eliminate Ankara's perceived threat emanating from Kurdish militia in border areas.

"President Erdogan has stressed that it is necessary to take concrete steps to eliminate the PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist organization from the areas bordering Turkey, especially Tell Rifaat and Manbij, and said that the regime should be constructive to take steps in the political process to achieve concrete results on Syria," the Turkish president's office said.

Erdogan also pressed his Russian counterpart to declare a "unilateral" ceasefire in Ukraine.

"President Erdogan said that calls for peace and negotiations should be supported by a unilateral ceasefire and a vision for a fair solution," his office quoted Erdogan as saying during the call.

Erdogan was due to follow the talks with a separate conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky later on Thursday.

Erdogan and the Russian president have spoken repeatedly since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February. Turkey acted as mediator alongside the United Nations to set up a deal allowing grain exports from Ukrainian ports.

Erdogan has also repeatedly tried to bring Putin and Zelensky to Turkey for a peace summit.

Erdogan's call for a ceasefire followed a proposal earlier Thursday by Russia's spiritual leader Patriarch Kirill for an Orthodox Christmas truce this week.