Turkish President meets with Ukrainian leader and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres
Following his trilateral talks with Vladimir Zelensky and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Lviv on Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated that Ankara is seeking to act as a mediator to help end the conflict by Ukraine through diplomacy as soon as possible. possible.
“What matters is finding the shortest and fairest path to the negotiating table,” Erdogan said in the western Ukrainian city, quoted by Anadolu news agency. “We are ready to act as a facilitator or mediator with the aim of reviving the negotiations on the parameters that took shape in Istanbul.”
According to Erdogan, the world is already feeling the “positive effects” of a grain export agreement signed in Istanbul on July 22 and during talks on Thursday, the participants “assessed the possibilities of transforming the positive atmosphere created by the Istanbul agreement into a permanent peace.”
Erdogan said he would discuss details of his talks with Zelensky and Guterres with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but did not say when such a meeting or phone call might take place.
Although Turkey is a member of NATO, it has not sanctioned Russia for the conflict in Ukraine. Erdogan – who describes his position on the conflict as “balance” – recently visited Russia, where he and Putin agreed to strengthen trade and energy ties and step up cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
Earlier in July, the two leaders also met in the Iranian capital as part of the so-called Astana peace process for Syria.
Under the terms of the July deal, representatives from Ukraine, Russia, the UN and Turkey agreed to open a joint coordination center in Istanbul to oversee shipments of food and fertilizer from Ukraine and to maintain safe transit routes for these shipments across the Black. Sea.
Last March, at another meeting in Istanbul, Moscow and kyiv were reportedly close to settling their differences, but the draft agreement was torpedoed by the Ukrainian side, according to the Kremlin.