Ankara, Turkey | Xinhua | Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday once again urged his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to hold a summit with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
During a phone talk, Erdogan told Putin that the “continuation of the positive momentum achieved in the Istanbul talks” to reach peace in Ukraine is in the interest of everyone, the Turkish presidential press service said in a statement.
The president reiterated his proposal to increase the level of the “Istanbul process, which is a very important threshold in the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, to the level of leaders,” said the statement.
Erdogan pointed out the importance of achieving a ceasefire, the effective operation of humanitarian corridors and safe evacuations, saying Turkey will continue to do its best to establish a lasting peace.
The phone talk came one day after United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had met with the Turkish president in Ankara.
Guterres departed for Moscow, and then he will visit Kiev in a bid to mediate a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine.
Erdogan has long been engaging with both Putin and Zelensky, as Turkey, having close ties with both countries, has been playing a mediator role to end the conflict.
Previously, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met in a resort town of Turkey’s southern province of Antalya on March 10, for the first high-level talks between Moscow and Kiev since Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on Feb. 24.
The negotiation teams of Russia and Ukraine also had a face-to-face meeting in Istanbul on March 29.
Erdogan refers “Istanbul process” since Ankara wants to continue the dialogue between Kiev and Moscow with a leaders’ summit in this city to reach a final peace deal.
Turkish authorities earlier said that Ankara welcomes the proposal of becoming a guarantor country in terms of the security of Ukraine.
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