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30 October 201900:22

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a reception on the occasion of Independence Day in Turkey on the sidelines of the trilateral meeting on Syria, Geneva, October 29, 2019

2208-30-10-2019

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Thank you very much,

Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, my good friend,

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am really gratified that the schedule of international events brought me here to Geneva on this particular day, the National Day of the Turkish Republic.

I have sent a formal message to Minister Cavusoglu congratulating him on the 96th anniversary of his country, of his republic. And I would like to express my satisfaction that I have a chance to deliver these congratulations in person.

We remember very well the very difficult years when the Turkish republic was born. Those were very difficult years for the Turkish Republic and for young Soviet Russia at that time.

And we are grateful to the Turkish people for their efforts to keep the memory of the assistance by my country to the Turkish Republic in fighting for its national liberation, for its national identity.

Today Russia and Turkey are strategic partners. We cooperate on Syria of course and we are about to have a meeting with our colleague from Iran and then the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, Mr Pedersen, to discuss the launching of the Constitutional Committee which takes place tomorrow. But we also cooperate with Turkey on a much broader agenda on Syria, fighting terrorism; we cooperate on promoting peace and stability and cooperation in the Black Sea region. We cooperate for the sake of making the Organisation on Security and Cooperation in Europe a real cooperative structure; we cooperate to promote consensus and the respect for international law in the Council of Europe and at the United Nations.

And as for the remarks of my good friend about precedents when a minister visits an international reception hosted by an ambassador, I can assure you only one thing: any mission of any country, if you manage to schedule your national day in a way which would coincide with a similar breakthrough such as a meeting of the Constitutional Committee tomorrow, I will be there.

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