President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will urge his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a call Sunday to “end this war immediately” after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Agence France-Presse reported, citing the Turkish leader’s spokesman.
“The president will convey to him the message that we have repeated from the start: end this war immediately, give the ceasefire and negotiations a chance, establish a humanitarian corridor and carry out evacuations,” İbrahim Kalın told the private NTV broadcaster Saturday.
The Turkish leader will also seek talks “at the leaders’ level” between Russia and Ukraine that could take place in Turkey, Kalın added.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu expressed hope Friday for a meeting with his Ukrainian and Russian counterparts at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in southern Turkey on March 11-13.
Çavuşoğlu’s invitation was welcomed by Russia’s ambassador at the United Nations in Geneva, Gennady Gatilov, who described a possible meeting of the two ministers as a “good idea”, Turkish media reported.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed he would attend the forum, Çavuşoğlu said.
“We think that these meetings will have a positive impact. In particular, a meeting at the leaders’ level could prevent the war causing greater destruction,” Kalın said.
NATO member Turkey finds itself in a delicate balancing act, with close ties to Ukraine and Russia.
Kalın described Russia’s conditions for the conflict’s end as “unrealistic” but said “negotiations and diplomacy exist for that” reason.
“We have good relations at the same time with Ukraine and Russia. We can’t give up on either.”