“Idlib is being reduced to rubble just like Aleppo”

Speaking at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Babis of the Czech Republic, President Erdogan said: Idlib is slowly disappearing. Idlib is being reduced to rubble just like Aleppo. It is impossible for us to remain silent in the face of all this.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Andrej Babis of the Czech Republic held a joint press conference following their meeting at the Presidential Complex.

WE HAVE REAFFIRMED OUR GOAL TO REACH $5 BILLION IN BILATERAL TRADE VOLUME

Noting that the distance covered in military, political, economic, commercial and cultural relations between Turkey and the Czech Republic was discussed during the meeting, President Erdogan said that Turkey has the will to improve relations with its ally and friend the Czech Republic in all areas.

President Erdogan stated: Today, we have reaffirmed our goal to reach $5 billion in bilateral trade volume. We have laid out our views to achieve and surpass that goal. Our $3.65 billion trade volume in 2018 shows we are getting closer to this goal.

Also on the agenda of the meeting were the fight against terror, immigration crisis and the latest developments in the Middle East, added President Erdogan, and continued: Our countries continue to act in solidarity at multilateral platforms, first and foremost NATO. We have reached a consensus with Mr. Prime Minister on the continuation of the existing cooperation between Turkey and the Visegrad Group, whose current term presidency is held by the Czech Republic. I also would like to offer my gratitude for the Czech Republic's support to our EU membership. I hope this support and solidarity will grow stronger in the period ahead.

The press conference continued with questions from reporters.

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR TURKEY TO REMAIN SILENT IN THE FACE OF THE SITUATION IN IDLIB

Recalling the promises made so far by the EU for providing aid to Syrian refugees in Turkey, President Erdogan underlined that the EU's spending related to the issue, however, has not reached even Euros 3 billion while Turkey has spent nearly $40 billion for refugees. The President further stressed that Turkey will continue to provide every support in its power to the 4 million refugees inside its borders regardless of the EU's attitude.

Pointing out that the U.S. has unfortunately taken part in the attacks carried out over the past two days in Idlib, President Erdogan said: Idlib is slowly disappearing. Idlib is being reduced to rubble just like Aleppo. It is impossible for us to remain silent in the face of all this. We have held and continue to hold talks with Russia. Likewise, we have the Russia-Turkey-Iran meeting ahead of us. We will hold these talks this month. We will see what can be done and our goal is to take some steps before the Geneva meeting.

Emphasizing the importance Turkey attaches to Idlib by describing the developments taking place in the province as a matter that directly affects Turkey, President Erdogan drew attention to the 910-km-long border Turkey shares with Syria, and said: We will do our best. Turkey is not expelling or closing its doors to refugees, but we will be happy if we can help the establishment of a safe zone in these areas.

Source: Presidency of the Republic Of Turkey