Turkey stands with EU and NATO on Crimea: Davutoğlu
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu speaks during a news conference with Mustafa Kırımoğlulu, a prominent Crimean Tatar political leader and Ukrainian legislator in Ankara, March 17. AP photoTurkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said his government supports the European Union and NATO’s policies regarding Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula after it declared its independence from Ukraine following a referendum.
“We stand together with the EU and NATO on Crimea,” Davutoğlu said in a televised program on March 18.
“We are also keeping the door to diplomacy open with Russia, due to our geographical location.”
On Crimean Tatars, who boycotted a March 16 referendum on the matter, Davutoğlu said Turkey would strive to ensure their security and rights.
“We would like Crimean Tatars to see us as the guarantor for their presence there,” Davutoglu said. “And we will act in accordance with this view.”
Defying Kyiv’s protests and Western sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill March 18 that accepted Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.
The peninsula’s annexation follows its declaration of independence from Ukraine after holding a referendum where 97 percent of Crimeans voted in favor of joining Russia.