UK's Johnson discusses coronavirus, Libya and Greece with Turkey's Erdogan

UK's Johnson discusses coronavirus, Libya and Greece with Turkey's Erdogan
UK's Johnson discusses coronavirus, Libya and Greece with Turkey's Erdogan

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday evening spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the international coronavirus response, Libya and maritime rights in the Eastern Mediterranean sea.

In the call, the two heads of state agreed to strengthen bilateral ties between their countries.

“They agreed on the importance of working together to strengthen the defence and economic partnerships between the UK and Turkey, and to collaborate in the fight against coronavirus,” Downing Street said.

It said the Turkish leader was committed to working with the UK on Mr Johnson’s five-point plan to prevent future pandemics, which he announced at the UN General Assembly on Saturday.

The plan includes setting up a worldwide network of research centres to identify a new pandemic before it started.

It also calls for the development of manufacturing for treatments and vaccines, and an global pandemic early warning system to predict a coming health crisis.

Mr Johnson urged the international community to establish global protocols for a future health emergency and for other countries to reduce trade barriers, which he said were hindering the pandemic response.

The two leaders also discussed Libya and the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, both conflicts in which Turkey has interfered.

Mr Johnson stressed the need for a political solution to end the Libyan conflict, Downing Street said.

“They also talked about recent violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh," his office said.

"The UK has called for urgent de-escalation in the region. The Prime Minister expressed his concern about recent tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

"He stressed the need for calm and welcomed the news that Turkey and Greece have agreed to talks.”

Mr Erdogan indicated on Monday that he would be willing to negotiate an end of the dispute with Greece over maritime rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The decade-long stand-off between the two countries over gas exploration and maritime boundaries looked likely to spill into open conflict in the summer.

Updated: September 29, 2020 03:08 AM

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