Turkey seeks top-level Ukraine-Russia talks

AP , Tuesday 26 Apr 2022

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to agree to direct talks with his Ukrainian counterpart.

Turkish President and leader of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives a speech during a party parliamentary group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GNAT) in Ankara, Turkey, on April 20, 2022. AFP


The call comes in the wake of Turkish diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis over Russia's war in Ukraine, including by hosting Ukrainian and Russian negotiators for talks in Istanbul late last month.

The Turkish presidency said in a statement Tuesday that Erdogan proposed taking the ``Istanbul process to the level of leaders, a crucial threshold in the Russia-Ukraine negotiations.'' It sought to continue the ``positive progress of the Istanbul talks'' toward peace.

Talks stalled after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russian troops of committing war crimes. Putin later said peace efforts were at a dead end.

Ankara, which maintains close ties to both Kyiv and Moscow, has presented itself as a neutral broker in a bid to end the fighting.

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