Erdoğan urges end to ‘bloodshed’ in Ukraine ahead of Putin meeting
Turkey aims to help stop the “bloodshed” in the war between Russia and Ukraine despite the high hurdles, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at a regional summit in Kazakhstan.
“Our goal is to help stop the bloodshed as soon as possible by maintaining the momentum gained in spite of the difficulties in the field,” Mr Erdoğan said, hours ahead of a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday.
“A fair peace can be achieved through diplomacy,” Mr Erdoğan told regional leaders in the Kazakh capital of Astana, where the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia forum is being held.
Mr Erdoğan and Putin will meet later on Thursday to discuss the war.
According to local media, Turkey’s offer to mediate talks between Russia and Ukraine and Western powers is also on the table.
Since Moscow invaded its neighbour in February, NATO member Turkey has positioned itself as a broker between Ukraine and Russia.
Ankara earlier this week warned that Russia and Ukraine were moving away from a diplomatic solution, making the outcomes of a prolonged war even more complicated.
Mr Erdoğan had on Wednesday met Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Astana, where the two were pictured playing table tennis after signing six agreements from security to trade.
Images from the game between the two men in their late 60s in shirt and tie under a chandelier were a hit on social media, among other reasons for Erdoğan’s unusual handling of the paddle.
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