2019-03-19 10:40:00

Erdogan invited to inaugurate Crimean mosque - Putin (updated)

Simferopol, March 18, Interfax - Russian President Vladimir Putin said he invited Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the opening of a mosque in Crimea, and the Turkish president's reaction to it was favorable.

During Putin's meeting with local representatives in the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on Monday, the Mufti of Crimea, Emirali Ablayev, invited Putin for the opening of the mosque and suggested that he also invite Erdogan. "He won't say no to you," Ablayev said.

"I have already invited Turkish President Erdogan, he is aware of that. And as far as I understand, his attitude towards this offer has been very positive. We'll see how things will turn out in reality, whether he will have the time, possibility to come over," Putin said.

Binyamin Volf, the rabbi of Sevastopol, said at the meeting that the construction of a synagogue at the site of a 1941 massacre of Jews in the city was nearing completion.

He invited Putin to its opening and the latter in turn proposed inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well.

"Your colleague to the right asked President Erdogan [to attend the opening of a mosque in Crimea]. Let us also invite the prime minister of Israel, let him come for the opening of the synagogue," Putin said.

"I think we will be able to finish building the synagogue by the end of the year, but right now there is a delay due to financing issues. I think they will be solved," Volf said.

"Jews have problems with finances. This is only possible in Crimea. Toda Raba [thank you very much in Jewish]," Putin said.