Putin, Erdogan discuss COVID-19, Libya, Syria over phone

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and the situation in Libya and Syria in a phone conversation, the Kremlin said in a statement.

The leaders on Wednesday discussed actual aspects of the response to the pandemic and emphasized the importance of phased lifting of restrictive measures and restoration of the full volume of bilateral trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian ties, it said, Xinhua news agency reported.

In a thorough discussion of the situation in Libya, Putin and Erdogan expressed deep concern about the ongoing large-scale clashes in the country, which led to numerous casualties and destruction, the statement said.

Putin noted the importance of an early ceasefire and the resumption of intra-Libyan dialogue based on the decisions of the Berlin International Conference on Jan. 19, 2020, and approved by UN Security Council Resolution 2510, as well as other initiatives aimed at a political and diplomatic settlement of the conflict, it said.

While discussing the situation in Syria, the parties stressed the necessity of increasing efforts to implement the Russian-Turkish agreements on the Idlib de-escalation zone, including the additional protocol of March 5, 2020, to the Sochi memorandum of September 17, 2018, the Kremlin said.

Joint priority tasks include control over the ceasefire and neutralization of terrorist groups active in Idlib, it added.

Putin and Erdogan agreed to maintain regular contact in various formats, the Kremlin said.