Erdogan says he will discuss Syria 'safe zone' moves with Putin next week

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan talks to media as he leaves from a mosque after the Friday prayers in Istanbul, Turkey, October 18, 2019. Murat Kula/Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday he would discuss with Russia’s Vladimir Putin next week what steps to take in a planned “safe zone” in northeast Syria, adding that Moscow needs to lead efforts in the west to establish peace.

Erdogan also said that his talks with U.S. President Donald Trump would turn a “new page” in ties, after the NATO allies agreed to pause Turkey’s offensive in northeast Syria to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw. He added that joint efforts by Ankara and Washington on Syria will be easier if Trump’s circle supported his positive approach.

“My counterpart is Trump. Just as we hold necessary talks on the phone, we will also hold face-to-face meetings that will turn a new page in Turkish-U.S. ties, a new milestone,” Erdogan said. “Trump’s circle supporting his positive approach will make our work easier,” he told journalists in Istanbul.

Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Dominic Evans