Beginning of meeting with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (retranslated): My dear friend,
Our cooperation, which is based on sincere dialogue and mutual understanding, is critical in this difficult situation.
We have given a good assessment of the year 2019 in terms of bilateral relations. We resolutely completed the S-400 deal despite various types of pressure.
Together with the TurkStream project, another project in the energy sector was crucial – the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant – due to its strategic significance. The first unit of the power plant is scheduled to become operational in 2023.
As is known, our present-day diplomatic relations were established in 1920, already a hundred years ago. We have decided to declare 2020–2021 the Year of our Common History.
I believe that our joint efforts brought relative stability in this process. Our efforts have also yielded such a productive result as today’s convening of the Berlin Conference. In this respect we acknowledge your efforts and your role in establishing a ceasefire.
We undertook great efforts to convince Mr Sarraj to go to Moscow and to do whatever it takes. He fulfilled his task. As a result, and following our proposal and recommendations, the Government of National Accord signed an agreement even though their expectations were not fully met.
On the other hand, Mr Haftar did not sign the agreement, which tells us all that he is not in favour of the peace process but rather of a military resolution of the problem. However, to ensure peace and calm in Libya, the summit at the Berlin Conference has to guarantee a ceasefire and a political resolution of the issue. It is necessary to put an end to Haftar’s aggressive behaviour and aggressive stance.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Esteemed Mr President, dear friend,
I am very pleased to meet you again, this time in Berlin.
I and all of us are satisfied with the results of our visit to Istanbul on January 8. I would like to thank you for the warm atmosphere during our joint work at the launch of the TurkStream. I think this was a momentous event in the power industry of our countries, and that of Europe as well.
We have indeed forged very kind, constructive, trust-based relations in practically all areas where we operate. Our dialogue is always not easy, though it is business-like. But we have learned to reach agreements, we have learned to seek and find compromises acceptable for both parties. In my view this is a very good example of constructive cooperation between neighbours.
Esteemed Mr President,
We are really working very effectively in many key areas of international policy, especially those of a regional nature. I mean Syria, I mean everything related to Iran’s nuclear programme, and I certainly mean the resolution of the Libyan conflict.
I think you and I made a very big step during our meeting in Istanbul by calling the Libyan sides to a ceasefire, cessation of hostilities, and even though some incidents still occur, the two sides have heeded our call and large-scale hostilities have been halted. In my opinion, it is already a very good result, which sets the scene for today’s multilateral meeting here in Berlin, where we are now.
Russia supports Chancellor Merkel’s initiative on the Libya settlement. This situation is a concern for everyone and it disturbs you and me, as leaders of countries close to that region. It is certainly disturbing for all of Europe since a flood of refugees to Europe from the Middle East and Africa rushed through the gate Libya opened wide after the assassination of Gaddafi.
Yes, indeed, the two of us have been working proactively to have a positive finale for the meeting of the conflicting parties in Moscow. The mere fact that they came to Moscow and had talks, not only with us but also with each other. I think we must thank our colleagues – foreign and defences ministers who placed great effort in getting the negotiating parties to come to an agreement and supported a joint statement.
True, not everything was successful. One of the parties did not uphold the statement, at least at the moment, but we keep hoping that the dialogue will continue, and we will strive with sincerity to advocate the conflict’s resolution.
I am very glad to have the opportunity to meet with you here in Berlin today and to discuss the whole range of our relations.
Thank you very much.