Turkish president to hold talks with Russian, Ukrainian leaders on ending conflict

Ankara has pioneered a peace diplomacy between Moscow, Kyiv that will set an example for world, Recep Tayyip Erdogan says.

Turkish president to hold talks with Russian, Ukrainian leaders on ending conflict

Türkiye continues its efforts to solve the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday, adding that towards this end he will soon have talks with his counterparts on both sides of the conflict.

"In order to resolve this crisis, I will have talks with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin on Sunday. Likewise, there will be one with (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelenskyy," Erdogan told the TRT World Forum in Istanbul.

Erdogan said Türkiye wants to further strengthen the grain corridor deal Türkiye helped forge this summer," and in Putin's words, to send (grain) through this corridor to underdeveloped countries."

On July 22, Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed a landmark agreement in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which had been paused in February due to Russia's war on Ukraine.

Days before its scheduled expiration, the landmark grain deal was extended for another 120 days, beginning on Nov. 19.

"Although the Istanbul process seems to have been interrupted by developments in the field, it still remains the ideal negotiation ground for lasting peace," the Turkish leader said.

From the very beginning of the crisis, Erdogan said, Türkiye carried out an intense diplomacy with the principle that there will be no winners in the war, adding that Ankara has pioneered a peace diplomacy that will set an example for the world.

"While strongly defending Ukraine's territorial integrity, we opposed fueling tension in the region with irrational policies toward Russia," Erdogan added.

'Türkiye forsaken in counter-terrorism'

Turning to the fight against terrorism, Erdogan slammed those countries – including some fellow NATO members – who support and send weapons to terrorist groups in northern Syria that threaten Türkiye as well as regional stability.

"Despite its sacrifices, Türkiye will never forget how it was forsaken in its fight against terrorist groups that pose a serious threat," he added.

Ankara has the potential to play a key role in resolving the issues that Europe faces, Erdogan said, adding, but, first of all, Europe needs to change its approach towards Türkiye in all matters in line with the spirit of alliance and partnership.

"It is clear that it is difficult for us to dream of a common future with a Europe that protects the terrorists, takes sides against us in every issue and secretly and openly supports the terrorist organizations which Türkiye is fighting against," he added.

Türkiye did not tolerate those who supported Greece in the Aegean and Mediterranean and encouraged their provocative actions, Erdogan said.

"We are together in NATO, but you arm the Greek islands with weapons and aircraft, and we still have not worked out the F-16 (fighter jets) issue with you," he added.

Erdogan said Türkiye will not give up on dialogue so that the Cyprus issue can be resolved on a fair basis with new and concrete steps.

The TRT World Forum 2022, a two-day annual event, started in Istanbul on Friday, held by Turkish national broadcaster TRT.

The gathering, held this year under the theme "Mapping the Future: Uncertainties, Realities and Opportunities" brings together academics, journalists, intellectuals, politicians, and members of civil society from around the globe.

Hüseyin Demir

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