Turkish, US officials discuss efforts to thaw Ukrainian crisis
“Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu informed his counterpart about our initiatives to thaw the tensions between the Russian Federation and Ukraine through dialogue,” a statement by the Foreign Ministry said.
They also discussed recent developments in northern Syria. The Turkish minister drew attention to the “separatist activities” of the YPG and its attacks on civilians in Syria. He emphasized that Turkey’s struggle will continue with determination.
While discussing the latest developments in the Caucasus and the ongoing normalization process with Armenia, Çavuşoğlu invited Blinken to the Antalya Diplomacy Forum to be held on March 11-13.
Blinken and Çavuşoğlu discussed ways to further coordination and NATO unity regarding the threat of further Russian escalation and aggression against Ukraine, U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.
“The secretary emphasized our shared commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and noted President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan’s engagement in support of a diplomatic resolution,” he stated.
The leaders discussed Turkey-Armenia normalization and additional steps the United States could take to support these efforts, he said, noting that they also reviewed opportunities to maintain a robust U.S.-Turkey bilateral relationship.
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 Kiev 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 Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr 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.