ADDS WHITE HOUSE STATEMENT
By Sefa Mutlu
ISTANBUL (AA) - The presidents of Turkey and the U.S. agreed that the fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak could only be won through global solidarity and cooperation, according to an official statement on Tuesday.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump discussed the ongoing virus pandemic, as well as bilateral relations and regional developments, said the Turkish Directorate of Communications.
The leaders agreed to take the necessary steps to share best practices and data on controlling the various effects of the pandemic.
In a statement, White House's Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said the two leaders "agreed to work closely together on the international campaign to defeat the virus and bolster the global economy."
Besides discussing regional and bilateral issues, the two leaders also agreed "it is more important now than ever for" conflict-hit countries, particularly Syria and Libya, to adhere to cease-fires amid the pandemic.
In Turkey, more than 10,000 people tested positive for COVID-19 while 168 people died.
In the U.S., over 3,000 people died of the virus, with 163,429 infected.
After first appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the virus has spread to at least 179 countries and regions, according to the U.S-based Johns Hopkins University database.
The data shows the confirmed number of cases worldwide has surpassed 809,600, with the death toll over 39,500 and more than 172,800 recoveries.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar