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Turkey seeks Ukraine peace talks despite Western actions: Erdoğan

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Turkey is committed to seeking a peace dialogue between Russia and Ukraine, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday, as he accused the United States and other Western countries of provoking Moscow, Reuters reported, citing the Turkish media.

State broadcaster TRT and other outlets quoted Erdoğan as saying, “The West, and especially the US, is seemingly endlessly attacking Russia,” without elaborating on what he meant.

“Of course, Russia is displaying great resistance in the face of all this,” Erdoğan was quoted as telling reporters on a flight from Uzbekistan.

Western countries have armed Kyiv and provided other assistance and have also imposed stringent sanctions on Moscow since its invasion of Ukraine in February.

“We are working on how to create a peace corridor here like the grain corridor. We think the best way for this is a path from dialogue to peace,” Erdoğan said, adding that Ukraine’s view would be important.

NATO member Turkey hosted talks between Ukrainian and Russian delegations earlier this year and has sought to balance its criticism of the invasion and opposition to the sanctions.

Ankara and the UN brokered a deal to restart Ukrainian grain exports from Black Sea ports over the last four months. Erdoğan said “it would be wrong” for Turkey to propose a specific time frame for extending the deal beyond its Nov. 19 deadline but added that it should run “as long as possible.”

There have been no public attempts to reconvene peace talks between the two sides since initiatives to bring about a ceasefire in İstanbul during the first weeks of the conflict broke down without progress.

Ukraine on Tuesday denied that it was under Western pressure to negotiate with Russia, doubling down on its insistence that talks could be held only if Russia relinquishes all of the territory it has occupied since the February invasion.

Russia said on Friday that it was committed to achieving the goals of what it calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine, adding that such goals could be achieved through peace talks but that Kyiv’s position meant holding peace talks was impossible.

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