Hopes for ceasefire increased after talks with Kiev, Moscow: Turkish FM

Hopes for ceasefire increased after talks with Kiev, Moscow: Turkish FM

Hopes for ceasefire increased after talks with Kiev, Moscow: Turkish FM

Hopes for a general ceasefire in Ukraine have increased following meetings with Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers in Lviv and Moscow, Turkey’s top diplomat has said, informing that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has had another phone conversation with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

“We will welcome to bring two foreign ministers again in Antalya. But we believe it is time to prepare a ground for a meeting between the leaders of Ukraine and Russia,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said at a press conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Kiev on March 17.

Çavuşoğlu, who was in Moscow to hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov one day ago, said, “Our hopes for the ceasefire have increased a little more.”

The minister said a meeting between Ukrainian President Volodmyry Zelensky and Putin is also possible and that Turkey was ready to host them at a meeting in Turkey as a facilitator. “We are also in contact with Mr. Putin to this end,” Çavuşoğlu said, but adding it is difficult to guess when they can meet. “It will be them who will decide for the meeting.”

The minister said he informed Kuleba about his talks with Lavrov and exchanged views about the ways to narrow differences between the two countries and end the armed conflict. “This war must stop as soon as possible; tears and blood must stop,” he said.

‘P5+Turkey, Germany will be guarantors of peace

Turkey will continue to work for a diplomatic solution to the problem, Çavuşoğlu said. On a question, Çavuşoğlu said that Ukraine offered Turkey as one of the guarantors of the security dimension of a possible agreement and that Russia had no objection to this. As part of a proposed deal, Ukraine suggests that the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, as well as Turkey and Germany, will act as the guarantor states of Ukraine’s security.

For his part, Kuleba said, “We see Turkey among the countries that should hold a guarantor status.” Ukrainian Foreign Minister underlined that a diplomatic solution is only possible through a meeting between the two leaders, saying, “Putin’s consent is must for the resolution of some key issues. There are issues the delegations cannot decide on their own.”

In the meantime, Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey proposed a 24-hour ceasefire for a humanitarian corridor in Mariupol city of Ukraine where the Red Crescent, the Turkish Red Crescent and the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) will assume monitoring mission for evacuations. The city is under the siege of Russian troops and the civilians could not be evacuated because of the lack of an agreement between the two warring sides.

On a question of the use of Turkey-made Bayraktar drones, Çavuşoğlu said these drones were sold to Ukraine by a private company in Turkey, adding, “We, as Turkey, have been standing with Ukraine since the first day and will continue to stand with it.”

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