Chinese President Xi Jinping has invited his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
The meeting between the two presidents was held in the margins of the Conference on Measures of Interaction and Confidence in Asia held in the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe.
“Under the current circumstances, the parties should support each other on issues of fundamental concern and strengthen cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism,” Xi, quoted by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said.
The President stressed the importance of Sino-Turkish relations and expressed his willingness to work together with Erdogan to transform bilateral friendship into a deep mutual trust between the two countries.
Erdogan, on the other hand, emphasized that Turkey devotes great attention to developing relations with China and is willing to expand cooperation in the areas of trade, economy, finance and infrastructure development, the statement added.
Foreign ministers from China and Turkey, Wang Yi and Mevlut Cavusoglu, met in Beijing and agreed to step up cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
During the meeting, Turkey’s foreign minister announced that “Turkey regards China’s security as its own.”
Cavusoglu has promised that no organization on Turkish territory will be free to engage in activities that threaten China’s interests, integrity and territorial sovereignty.
Ahmet Gendjehan Babish, director of the Turkish Center for Strategic Studies, said in an interview to Sputnik that these statements may point to a new geopolitical direction considered by Turkey.
“First of all, it should be noted that Mevlut Cavusoglu’s visit to China was made in the light of a sharp deterioration in relations between Turkey, the EU and the US There is no question that Ankara would be considering the Russia and China vector as an alternative to Europe and the US,” Babish said.
The expert also noted that Cavusoglu, in his speeches in Beijing, emphasized the strengthening of cooperation in the area of security.
As the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a collective security treaty, it would be well to assume that Turkish foreign policy is expanding its interactions with the organization.
“The SCO, unlike the EU, which puts concepts such as human rights and democratization first, focuses primarily on issues of border security, economic and political cooperation,” said Babish.
According to the expert, the current problems between Turkey and the West have been largely due to differences in the interpretation of the concept of human rights and democratization.
“However, with SCO this kind of problem does not exist, which makes this structure much more attractive to Ankara,” he added.
The analyst also said that despite all this, Turkey is still part of NATO and integrated into the alliance’s air defense system.
However, Turkey is negotiating the purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system. If this contract is signed, Ankara would move closer to SCO.
In July, Rostec Corporation CEO Sergei Chemezov said that the technical issues of the contract for the delivery of the S-400 systems to Turkey were resolved, leaving only administrative restrictions.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in late July announced that Ankara and Moscow have signed an umbrella agreement to allow the supply of the S-400 Triumf systems.
In addition to air defense systems, Turkey is also interested in participating in the Chinese project of the new Silk Road.
According to Babish, “Russia and Turkey are undertaking colossal joint projects in the energy sector.”
“The meeting [with the Chinese minister] also raised the issue of the construction of a third nuclear plant in Turkey, which Ankara intends to build together with Beijing,” he said.
The agency’s interlocutor emphasized that all this points to the fact that Turkey is approaching SCO member countries and that “it is opening up new perspectives as part of its interaction with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,” he concluded.