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5 Sep, 2023 14:16

No peace on the horizon in Ukraine conflict – Erdogan

Türkiye will nonetheless continue to insist on a just and lasting diplomatic resolution to ongoing hostilities, the president said
No peace on the horizon in Ukraine conflict – Erdogan

it is unlikely that hostilities between Ukraine and Russia will end anytime soon, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told journalists on Tuesday. He added that Ankara will continue to push for peace, diplomacy and negotiations.

Following his meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Monday, Erdogan told reporters on the flight back home that Türkiye had made great efforts to stop the hostilities in Ukraine and that its calls for peace remain unchanged since the latest fighting broke out in February 2022.

“Unfortunately, the war, which has been going on for a year and a half, is still going on,” Erdogan noted, adding that “there are no prospects on the horizon for achieving peace.”

Nonetheless, the Turkish leader said that Ankara will continue to reiterate that “there are no winners in war, and there are no losers in peace.”

“We are ready to do our part if the parties express such a desire. We will also continue to play the role of mediator in issues such as the exchange of prisoners and the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant,” Erdogan said.

He emphasized his hope that the conflict, which he said is damaging both participating countries and the region as a whole, will end as soon as possible in a “just and lasting peace based on international law.”

During his first personal sit-down with Putin in nearly a year, Erdogan stated that Türkiye is ready to once again bring Ukraine and Russia to the negotiating table as it has done in the past, with Ankara acting as a mediator.

Putin stressed in his response that Moscow has remained open to negotiations and that it is Kiev and its Western backers that are refusing to talk. The Russian president noted that during the early months of the conflict Russian and Ukrainian delegations had reached a number of agreements and signed draft documents, only for Kiev to eventually “send them to the dump.”

The president has also repeatedly pointed out that Kiev has since legally banned any negotiations with Moscow. Last fall, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed an official decree outlawing any talks with Russia so long as Putin is at the helm.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian leader has been promoting a so-called ten-point peace plan, which calls for Russia to withdraw to borders claimed by Kiev, to pay reparations, and to submit to war crimes tribunals. Moscow has rejected the proposal as “unrealistic.”