U.S. undersecretary visits Turkey amid Russia-Ukraine war
U.S. Undersecretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland visited Turkey on April 4 as part of her regional trip, which includes paying visits to France, Greece, Cyprus and Germany between April 2 and 9.
Her discussions would aim to further strengthen the bilateral relationships, emphasize the unified support for Ukraine, and coordinate the response to the “Russian Federation’s unprovoked war,” a statement by the state department said on April 1.
After France, Nuland was scheduled for Turkey, Greece, Germany and Cyprus to engage with government officials and civil society for discussions on regional security, economic issues and bilateral priorities, the statement said.
Other senior members of the interagency delegation are Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Ilan Goldenberg and Deputy Assistant Secretary Erika Olson.
Deputy Assistant Secretaries Karen Sasahara and Jennifer Gavito accompany the delegation to Turkey, according to the state department.
Ankara has attempted to play the role of a facilitator to reach a ceasefire and a final peace deal between Russia and Ukraine.
On April 1, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Istanbul may host a leaders’ summit in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a bid to solve the issue of the status of Donbass and Crimea as part of a peace deal between the warring sides.
Erdoğan earlier announced that Turkey could offer Ukraine security guarantees as part of any deal with Russia.
On March 29, Russian and Ukrainian delegations held a face-to-face discussion in Turkey’s Istanbul in a bid to reach a ceasefire.
On March 10, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu facilitated the first ministerial meeting between Ukraine and Russia in Turkey’s resort town in southern Antalya province after the Russian invasion of Ukraine started on Feb. 24.