Cavusoglu names anti-Iranian sanctions 'illegal'

TEHRAN, Dec. 29 (MNA) – In a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu named the US sanctions on Iran as 'illegal'.

The top Turkish and Russian diplomats met Tuesday to discuss international issues and help prepare for a meeting of the two countries’ presidents.

In the press conference, Cavusoglu and Lavrov announced that in their meeting in the Russian city of Sochi, they discussed various issues, including the crises in Syria, Libya, and the eastern Mediterranean.

"Western sanctions have no effect on Turkish-Russian talks and co-operation," Lavrov said in response to a question about US sanctions against Turkey and Russia.

Cavusoglu for his part said, "We oppose sanctions against any country ... We have repeatedly emphasized that these sanctions are illegal. We also believe that sanctions against Iran are illegal and a wrong political decision."

Elsewhere in his remarks, Lavrov stressed that foreign actors in the Libyan crisis must comply with UN resolutions about the country.

"Our vision is to strengthen the ceasefire in Libya," Cavusoglu said, "We are present in the country based on the agreements reached in Libya and no one has the right to ask us to leave."

In their meeting, as Anadolu reported, Lavrov stressed that despite the coronavirus pandemic, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin remain in close contact – this year they met in person three times, took part in a videoconference in the Astana format, and had nearly two dozen phone conversations.

"This statistic alone shows what a rich agenda fills our relations," Anadolu quoted Lavrov as saying.

He added that apart from preparing for the presidential meeting, he would like to discuss the state of affairs in the Black Sea, Middle East, and the Caucasus regions.

"We have a rich international agenda, the Syrian settlement, Libya, other parts of the Middle East region, and Nagorno-Karabakh topic that recently came forward,” said Lavrov.

“We greatly value our trustful dialogue," he added.

For his part, Cavusoglu stressed that the close dialogue between the Turkish and Russian presidents, and the mutual trust between them, serves not only the development of bilateral relations but also regional ties.

Cavusoglu said he regretted that the pandemic kept the two countries from a full-fledged celebration of the 100th anniversary of their bilateral relations, but added he was satisfied to end the year with a personal meeting.

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