This visit is actually an indication of the strategic importance we have attributed to Asia, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told journalists accompanying him in a plane during his return from Tajikistan where he attended the 5th Summit of the Heads of State of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), adding that Turkey was working hard to develop good relations in all regions, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.
President Erdogan addressed world leaders during the summit and conducted separate bilateral meetings with various heads of states, including the presidents of Tajikistan, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, and Afghanistan.
"The relations we have established with one country or region are never against each other or (out of spite to) third countries," Erdogan said, adding that Turkey will "continue to strengthen these relations in the same way."
"We will try to develop relations in the west, east, north, and south," he said.
Stressing the importance of peace, stability, and cooperation in the world, Erdogan noted that the world cannot ignore the ongoing war in Syria nor some 4 million Syrian refugees.
Erdogan said he also drew attention to the regional and global impacts of the Syrian war and Turkey's political efforts to solve the problem during the summit.
"It is clear that unilateral approaches cannot produce a solution for peace and stability in the world today. I have seen that the leaders of the other countries participating in the summit have expressed this view strongly, like myself," Erdogan said.
The president, commenting on the bilateral relations between Turkey and Russia which have been "at a very good state," noted that Turkey's current highest trade volume was with Russia and had recently surpassed 25 billion dollars.
Erdogan also said the TurkStream pipeline will be inaugurated at the end of this year.
Touching upon the nuclear power plant construction that has been carried out in cooperation with Russia, Erdogan said that a total of 200 engineers have been sent to Russia for training.
Erdogan noted that with Putin they had also discussed the Ankara's S-400 missile deal with Moscow, adding that the issue was an "already closed one."
Regarding Turkey's relations with China, Erdogan said both countries were planning to reach a trade volume of $50 billion as he had previously discussed with his Chinese counterpart.
Touching on the One Belt One Road Project, a modern Silk Road Project initiated by China, Erdogan said that Turkey has been conducting bilateral meetings with relevant countries as Turkey's strategic location was highly important for the project, adding that the subject will also be discussed at the G20 Summit to be held in Japan's Osaka at the end of June.
Saying that the defense industry will also be a matter of discussion in bilateral meetings held with the G20 summit's participant countries, Erdogan said that the recent developments regarding Turkey's defense industry were also a highly interesting subject during the summit in Tajikistan.
Answering a question about Turkey's response to the letter from the U.S. on S-400 missile systems, Erdogan said that the National Defense Ministry will soon respond to it.
"Our decision is clear. We won't compromise on the S-400 issue," Erdoğan asserted, adding that it was the same for the F-35 issue as Turkey did what it had to do.
This issue will also be discussed in full detail with the United States President Donald Trump at the G20 Summit, he added.
Erdogan expressed hope that this issue will soon be resolved as there should be no such problem between two strategic partners, and NATO allies.
Regarding the U.S.-Iran crisis, Erdogan said that they had mainly discussed bilateral economic relations at the summit.
Commenting on French President Emmanuel Macron's recent comments on the East Mediterranean and the arrest warrants issued for the crew of the Turkish drillship Fatih, Erdogan said: "Those who have the right to speak about the Eastern Mediterranean can speak. When did France have the right to speak on the Eastern Mediterranean? Do they have a coast in the Eastern Mediterranean?"
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