Erdogan proposes hosting Ukraine-Russia Peace Summit

After a discussion in Istanbul with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced on Friday that Turkey is prepared to host a peace summit aimed at resolving the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

Publication: 09.03.2024 - 11:03
Erdogan proposes hosting Ukraine-Russia Peace Summit
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The talks, which lasted about an hour, covered the ongoing war, Black Sea shipping security including the halted grain deal, and defense industry cooperation.

As a NATO member that supports Ukraine's territorial integrity while maintaining friendly ties with Russia, Turkey has played a mediator role, especially in facilitating the Black Sea grain deal, which alleviated the Russian blockade on Ukrainian grain exports.

"We thoroughly discussed the war's developments today, and I shared our observations honestly," Erdogan stated at a press conference with Zelenskiy, who visited before an anticipated visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin after the elections in Russia on March 15-17.

Erdogan expressed Turkey's commitment to ending the war through negotiations and reiterated support for Ukraine's sovereignty. Despite hosting peace talks in 2022, Erdogan noted the lack of diplomatic progress since and advocated for a summit involving leaders for further dialogue.

Zelenskiy mentioned that Russia would not be invited to the initial peace summit planned in Switzerland but could join later meetings once a peace roadmap is established with Ukrainian allies. He emphasized the difficulty in inviting representatives from a country accused of aggression and destruction.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, after meeting his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, highlighted the necessity for ceasefire talks between Ukraine and Russia but clarified it should not legitimize Russia's territorial claims.

In defense cooperation, Turkey has supplied Ukraine with armed drones and plans for joint production despite the war's challenges. Zelenskiy's visit to an Istanbul shipyard underscored the ongoing collaboration in naval and arms production. Additionally, the leaders discussed reviving the Black Sea grain deal, crucial for Ukraine's grain exports, which Turkey and the UN initially brokered.

Turkey continues to navigate its relationships, balancing defense ties with Ukraine and energy cooperation with Russia, while committing to Ukraine's post-war reconstruction. Amidst this, U.S. sanctions threats have reportedly impacted Turkish-Russian trade relations.

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