Turkey says meaningful progress in Russia-Ukraine talks achieved in Istanbul
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said that the most meaningful progress in Russia-Ukraine negotiations was achieved in Istanbul since the teams of the two countries have launched peace talks.
“Today, we are pleased to see that the rapprochement between the parties has increased at every stage. Consensus and common understanding were reached on some issues,” Çavuşoğlu told reporters after the Russian-Ukrainian delegations met in Istanbul on March 29.
More difficult issues will be shaped by the foreign ministers of the two countries, he said. “We see more difficult issues will be tackled at higher levels. In the next period, it is foreseen that the foreign ministers of both countries will come together and give the final shape to the common understanding. Then, the meeting of the presidents of both countries is on the agenda,” the minister stated.
“Today’s talks are an indicator of trust to us. We are aware of the trust placed in us and our responsibility,” Çavuşoğlu stated.
The minister noted that the Turkish side also held separate meetings with the Ukrainian and Russian delegations and discussed the issues of humanitarian aid and humanitarian corridors.
“We have evacuated more than 16,500 of our citizens from Ukraine. We continue to work in coordination with parties and international organizations for the evacuation of both our citizens and third-country nationals,” he said, adding that they have also discussed the issues of exit and navigational safety of Turkish ships stranded in the region.
Erdoğan urges Russian, Ukrainian negotiators to end tragedy
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urged the Ukrainian and Russian negotiation teams for a peace agreement to “put an end to the tragedy” sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as the delegations held face-to-face talks in Istanbul on March 29.
“Ensuring a ceasefire and peace as soon as possible would benefit all parties. We think we have entered a period when concrete results should be achieved at the talks. Given the current progress, you as members of delegations have undertaken a historic responsibility,” Erdoğan said in his speech at the opening of the meeting of the delegations at the Presidential Dolmabahçe office.
“The entire world is awaiting beneficial and good news from you. You are laying the foundation for peace in line with the directives of your leaders. We stand ready for all kinds of contributions that will facilitate your work,” he added.
It will be in everyone’s interest to achieve a ceasefire and peace as soon as possible, Erdoğan said, expressing his optimism to obtain concrete results from the negotiations.
Expressing that Turkey does not have a mediating role in the negotiations, the president said, “However, as long as you request, we will continue to provide facilitating opportunities as long as you need.”
The progress they will make in the negotiations will also enable the next stage, the contact at the leaders’ level, he said, expressing readiness to host such a meeting.
The negotiation process raised hopes for peace and excited the whole world, and Turkey wholeheartedly supports the talks in this context, the president noted. Ankara has made sincere efforts at all levels to prevent escalation from the first day of the crisis and tried to fulfill the requirements of the neighborhood, friendship and proximity between societies of the countries, the president said.
“Personally, I carried out intense diplomatic work with many of my colleagues, especially your esteemed heads of state. At all international platforms, where we have a say, we have displayed a fair approach that protects, watches over the rights, laws and sensitivities of both parties,” Erdoğan stated. As a country that has witnessed many sufferings in its region, Turkey has worked to prevent a similar picture in the north of the Black Sea, Erdoğan added.
Emphasizing that Turkey has never shied away from assuming responsibility for peace and stability in the region and beyond, Erdoğan said, “We believe that there will be no losers in a just peace. Prolonging the conflict is not in anyone’s interest.”