NATO chief thanks Erdoğan for efforts to solve Ukraine crisis

NATO chief thanks Erdoğan for efforts to solve Ukraine crisis

NATO chief thanks Erdoğan for efforts to solve Ukraine crisis

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Feb. 7 had a phone conversation and discussed regional developments, particularly the tension between Russia and Ukraine.

Stoltenberg thanked Erdoğan for his “active support” and “personal engagement to find a political solution” to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine tension.

In a Twitter post, the NATO chief said they discussed Russia’s military build-up in and around Ukraine. “I thanked him for his active support and personal engagement to find a political solution and welcomed Turkey’s strong practical support to Ukraine,” he said. “NATO remains ready for dialogue,” he added.

Erdoğan, for his part, stated that Turkey made efforts for the cessation of the Russia-Ukraine tension and acted in such a manner as to ensure de-escalation, the Presidential Communication Directorate said in a statement.

The president told the NATO chief that he had shared with all of his counterparts his view that the crisis would be resolved by peaceful and diplomatic means based on international law and Ukraine’s territorial integrity within the framework of the Minsk agreements.

Erdoğan added that he had on various occasions told President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine that Turkey would be pleased to host a leaders’ summit or technical talks.

Stoltenberg also wished Erdoğan and first lady Emine Erdoğan, who tested positive for COVID-19, a speedy recovery.

The phone conversation comes amid Turkey’s efforts to mediate between Russia and Ukraine as the former has been amassing its troops on the eastern Ukrainian border.

Moscow and Kyiv have long been at odds over Donbass due to separatist ethnic Russians. Russia has deployed more than 100,000 troops on the border as it blames NATO and Western organizations for provoking Ukraine.

Ankara has invited Putin and Zelensky to Turkey for a face-to-face meeting. Turkey also attempts to hold the next meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk group between Ukraine and Russia in Istanbul.