Erdoğan vows to work for peace in Ukraine
Türkiye will not cease its efforts for ending the war in Ukraine and establishing peace between Kiev and Moscow, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, in a statement following the parties’ agreement on a grain corridor in the Black Sea to avoid a global food crisis.
“We are decisive in continuing our diplomatic efforts until peace is established between Russia and Ukraine. We hope to garner good results out of our meetings and contacts [with Russia and Ukraine] at all levels, including leaders, in the not too distant future,” Erdoğan said at a meeting in the Central Anatolian town of Kayseri on July 23.
Erdoğan’s statement came a day after Russia and Ukraine signed separate agreements with Türkiye and the U.N. for the establishment of a Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul for the implementation of the shipment of Ukrainian and Russian grain and other food products as well as fertilizers to the world markets.
It was the first time two warring sides agreed on an important plan since the war broke out on Feb. 24. It is believed that with the transportation of tens of millions of wheat to the markets, the world will avert a major global crisis.
Erdoğan cited that signing the deal was a big success for humanity. “We have realized the signing ceremony of the agreement that will pave the way for the export of the grain in the silos of Ukraine through the Black Sea. We will significantly contribute to avoiding global food crisis thanks to the shipment that will start in the coming days,” he said.
The authorities from Türkiye, Russia, Ukraine and the U.N. will swiftly begin works for the establishment of the coordination center in Istanbul, which will play an essential role in executing the plan. According to the agreement, the center will monitor maritime security minute-by-minute and will take action in case of a potential violation and security concern.
Thanks to its good ties with both nations, Türkiye carried out initiatives for ending clashes between Russia and Ukraine and reaching a ceasefire since late February. It succeeded to host Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in early March in Antalya at a three-way meeting with the participation of Çavuşoğu.
The two sides’ representatives came together in Istanbul on March 29 for discussing a plan to end the clashes but no breakthrough could be achieved due to the last-minute developments in the field.
Erdoğan, in his address at the signing ceremony, repeated his objective to contribute to ending the war. “Regardless of which direction the developments on the ground take, the war will eventually end on the negotiating table. It will benefit the whole of humanity if the friendly and peaceful atmosphere we have now established is converted into steps towards ending the war,” he said.
“We will continue to act with the awareness of the responsibility placed on us by our understanding of civilization. We will continue to fulfill our duties as a neighbor until peace prevails in our region,” the president added.