China's top diplomat says supports Turkey's efforts to safeguard stability

FILE PHOTO: China’s top diplomat State Councillor Wang Yi speaks during a news conference after a meeting with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China supports the Turkish government’s efforts to safeguard security and economic stability and believes that it will overcome its “temporary difficulties”, China’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, told Turkey’s foreign minister on Saturday.

China’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Wang had made the comments in a phone call with the Turkish minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu.

The Turkish lira has lost a third of its value against the dollar this year as worsening relations between NATO allies Turkey and the United States added to losses driven by concerns over President Tayyip Erdogan’s influence on monetary policy.

Cavusoglu spoke about the current situation in Turkey during the phone call and said his government was willing to strengthen strategic communication with China, the statement said.

Beijing first commented on the issue on Friday in a foreign ministry statement in which it offered moral support to Turkey.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Andrew Bolton