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16 Aug, 2022 19:24

Erdogan, Guterres and Zelensky to meet in Ukraine

The three-way meeting in Lviv will be the Turkish president’s first trip to Ukraine since the conflict with Russia started in February
Erdogan, Guterres and Zelensky to meet in Ukraine

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will meet with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Thursday. Discussions will likely include grain shipments from Ukraine and the endangered Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced the meeting on Tuesday, saying that Guterres was invited to Lviv by Zelensky. Guterres will also visit Odessa, a port city where grain shipments across the Black Sea recently restarted after Russia and Ukraine struck a deal with Turkey and the UN to ensure their safe passage.

The three-way meeting will focus on maintaining cooperation on these shipments, and “ending the Ukraine-Russia war through diplomatic avenues,” Erdogan’s office said in a statement.

After leaving Ukraine, Guterrez will visit the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul, from where the shipments are being monitored by Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN officials.

In addition to the trilateral meeting, Dujarric and Zelensky will hold a one-on-one meeting to discuss the situation at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. Moscow and Kiev have both accused each other of shelling the plant, although the facility has been under Russian control since the initial days of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

Erdogan will also meet alone with Zelensky, with his office saying that the two leaders will discuss “all aspects of Turkey-Ukraine relations.”  

Although Turkey is a member of the NATO alliance, it has not sanctioned Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. Erdogan – who describes his position on the conflict as “balanced” – recently returned from a visit to Russia, where he and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to strengthen their trade and energy links and step up cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

Back in March, Erdogan hosted peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, although this ultimately failed to stop the fighting.