UPDATES WITH MORE REMARKS BY TURKISH PRESIDENT
By Hanife Sevinc, Berk Ozkan, and Hatice Senses Kurukiz
ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkey seeks stronger cooperation with allies, said the nation's president on Saturday.
"We want to be in stronger cooperation with our friends and allies," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's regular provincial congresses, held virtually as part of COVID-19 measures.
“We see ourselves nowhere else but in Europe. We contemplate to build our future together with Europe,” he added.
Erdogan urged the European Union to keep its promises, not to discriminate, and at least not to be a tool of “explicit hostility” against Turkey.
He also noted that Ankara wants to use its long and close ally relations with Washington actively in resolving the regional and global issues.
He said Turkey also cannot ignore countries, such as Russia and Iran, with which it has deep-rooted ties.
“We seek to improve our cooperation with almost all regional pacts in the world,” he said, adding that Turkey works for solutions based on territorial integrity and political unity everywhere it is involved, from Syria to Libya.
“We believe that we do not have any problem with any country or institution that cannot be solved through politics, diplomacy, and dialogue,” he stressed.
Erdogan said Turkey has always kept these communication channels open, and will continue to do so.
- Party congresses delayed
Noting that there is no obstacle for holding a political party congress, Erdogan said: “Despite this, we are postponing our [AK Party] congresses as of next week to support the fight against the pandemic.”
He said the new dates will be determined according to the course of the situation.
A new round of measures against the novel coronavirus took effect in Turkey on Friday evening, including a partial weekend curfew.
The country reported 5,103 more coronavirus patients on Friday, raising the tally to over 435,200.
A total of 3,019 more patients recovered, bringing the overall number to 367,592, while the death toll rose by 141 to reach 12,084.
* Writing by Sena Guler in Ankara