Erdogan underlines Istanbul process in talks with Guterres to end Ukraine crisis
Published: Apr 26, 2022 08:38 AM
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that all parties should support the Istanbul process for a solution to the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, Turkey's presidency said.

Guterres met with Erdogan in the Turkish capital Ankara, before heading to Moscow and Kiev for talks on resolving the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Erdogan emphasized that the Istanbul process, which "preserves its character as the most credible way to reach peace," should be supported by everyone, said his office after the meeting.

Along with efforts to cease the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Turkey will continue to work closely with the United Nations to end the humanitarian crisis by contributing to the evacuation of civilians and the delivery of humanitarian aid to the region, Erdogan told Guterres.

The secretary-general, for his part, expressed support for Turkey's ongoing diplomatic efforts concerning the Ukrainian crisis, the UN said in a statement.

Guterres and Erdogan "reaffirmed that their common objective is to end the war as soon as possible and to create conditions to end the suffering of civilians," the statement said.

They stressed the urgent need for effective access through humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians and deliver much-needed assistance to impacted communities while agreeing to stay in contact to follow up on ongoing initiatives.

Erdogan and the UN chief discussed the impact of the crisis on regional and global issues, including energy, food and finance.

At a press conference after a cabinet meeting on Monday, Erdogan said he will have a phone talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday as part of the efforts for a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine.

The UN chief will meet Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on April 26 and 28 respectively, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres, said on Friday.

Guterres will visit Moscow on April 26 and have "a working meeting and lunch" with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, said Dujarric.

During his trip to Ukraine, Guterres will have a working meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and meet with staff of UN agencies to discuss the scaling up of humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people, Dujarric said.

Turkey has been playing a mediator role to end the conflict between Russia and Ukraine as Ankara has close ties with both countries.

Previously, Lavrov and 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 the former 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 is referring Istanbul process since Ankara wants to continue the dialogue between Kiev and Moscow with a leaders' summit in this city in order to reach a final peace deal.

Turkish authorities said earlier that Ankara welcomes the proposal of becoming a guarantor country in terms of the security of Ukraine.