Erdogan, Trump reiterate solidarity against COVID-19

1010 WINS Newsroom
May 23, 2020 - 12:05 pm

In this photo provided by the Turkish Presidency, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, front center, arrives to attend the inauguration ceremony for Basaksehir Pine and Sakura City Hospital, in Istanbul, Thursday, May 21, 2020. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who participated by videoconference the ceremony has called for international cooperation against the new coronavirus, saying any drug or vaccine developed against the virus must be made "fairly" accessible. (Turkish Presidency via AP)

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump spoke Saturday on the phone to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, bilateral relations and regional developments.

According to an account of the phone call released by Erdogan's office, the two leaders reiterated their solidarity in the fight against COVID-19.

They also discussed developments in Libya and Syria, agreeing to continue “close political and military cooperation” for regional stability, the statement said.

Turkey has seen a downward trajectory in infections and the death rate, but hundreds of people are still confirmed positive every day. The country has registered 154,500 infections and 4,276 deaths.

Turkey’s transport minister said Saturday that some intercity trains will resume limited operations May 28 as the country readies to restart domestic tourism. Passengers will be required to obtain a travel certification code from a government phone application. Travelers above 65 and under 20 will also need to get an additional travel permit as a full curfew imposed on those age groups continues, except for a few hours each week.

Turkey is in the midst of its first ever nationwide lockdown, lasting four days during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. Previous partial lockdowns on weekends and holidays had affected a maximum of 31 of 81 provinces. Erdogan said this week he hopes this round of lockdowns will be the final one.