Efforts to fight terrorism in Syria cannot succeed without political solution: Guterres

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Secretary-General António Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Istanbul during his first bilateral visit since taking up the position. Photo/UN Spokeperson

Efforts to fight terrorism and extremists in Syria cannot succeed without a political solution supported by its people, the UN Secretary-General said on Saturday.

António Guterres met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during his very first bilateral visit since assuming his position in January.

Turkey is the first leg of a trip that will also take him to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Egypt.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

The Secretary-General and President Erdoğan discussed the situation in Syria and the ongoing diplomatic efforts towards ending the conflict.

António Guterres commended Turkey for its “outstanding generosity” and underscored the need to fight terrorism and extremists in Syria.

However, he added, that effort would not be successful without a political solution supported by the people of country.

The two also discussed the situation in Iraq and the on-going operations to liberate Mosul and other areas from Da'esh.

These operations should be a symbol of national reconciliation and should not exacerbate sectarianism, Mr Guterres warned.

The Secretary-General and the President also discussed the latest developments in the peace process in Cyprus.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 47”

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