Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu due to visit Ukraine on Nov 10
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. AA PhotoForeign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will visit Ukraine on Nov. 10 to attend the third meeting of the Turkey-Ukraine Joint Strategic Planning Group Meeting.
At the meeting co-chaired by Çavuşoğlu and his Ukrainian counterpart, the foreign ministers of the two countries will make preparations for the upcoming gathering of the Turkey-Ukraine High Level Strategic Cooperation Council.
Ankara is closely following developments in both Ukraine and Russia, Çavuşoğlu told Parliament's foreign affairs commission on Nov. 5.
“We never recognized the unlawful annexation of Crimea and we shall never do so,” he said, adding that Ankara is conducting "intense diplomatic traffic" with both Kyiv and Moscow.
“We see that Crimean Tatars are subject to oppression by the authorities in Crimea,” Çavuşoğlu said, adding that he will raise the issue of Crimean Tatars’ rights during his visit to Ukraine.
He is expected to meet with representatives of Crimean Tatars in Ukraine, as well as Ertuğrul Apakan, Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.
Meanwhile, European Commission Chief Jean-Claude Juncker said Nov. 5 that he would visit Kyiv on his first trip outside the European Union, amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
“I will be going to Ukraine, I don’t yet know when,” Juncker told a press conference, adding he promised his “first bilateral outside the EU will be in Kyiv.”
The cease-fire in Ukraine hung on by a thread Nov. 5 after President Petro Poroshenko accused pro-Russian rebels of endangering the peace process and ordered troop reinforcements to eastern cities.
In another case of how far apart the two sides are drifting, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced he was cutting the rebel-held Donetsk and Lugansk regions off from central government subsidies, so as not to finance “terrorists.”
Artillery explosions could be heard early Nov. 5 around the airport in Donetsk, where Ukrainian soldiers have been holding out for weeks against surrounding separatist forces. Following salvos of multiple Grad rockets and cannon fire, black smoke rose from the nearby government-held village of Peski.