Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Frank-Walter Steinmeier also agree to accelerate Turkish-German relations

The Turkish and German presidents spoke on the importance of joint efforts to fight terrorism in a phone conversation late Wednesday, according to Turkish presidential sources.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Frank-Walter Steinmeier agreed to accelerate Turkish-German relations.

Erdogan expressed Turkey's determination to accelerate dialogue and cooperation with Germany’s new government, also mentioning his conversation with Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, sources added.

The sources said both leaders mentioned how the Turkish community living in Germany forms a strong humanitarian tie between the two countries.

Erdogan also shared information about Turkey's Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria, the sources added.

Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear the terrorist groups YPG/PYD/PKK and Daesh from Afrin in northwestern Syria amid growing threats from the region.

Last Sunday, Turkish-backed troops liberated the town center of Afrin, which had been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK -- the Syrian branch of the PKK -- since 2012.

According to the Turkish General Staff, Operation Olive Branch aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist cruelty and oppression.

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