ANKARATurkiye's foreign minister on Monday announced a tripartite meeting with Ukraine and Russia to be held at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum later this week.
"We will hold this meeting in a tripartite format in Antalya on Thursday, March 10," said Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Expressing hope that the meeting "will be a turning point" and "important step" towards peace and stability, the Turkish foreign minister said Ankara would "continue to make efforts for a lasting peace."
Cavusoglu underlined that Turkiye has been engaged in intense diplomatic efforts to bring the Ukrainian and Russian parties together since the beginning of the war.
He said that since the war began, Turkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "held a total of 19 phone calls with his counterparts. And I held about 40 (phone) calls."
"During this period, I spoke with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba six times and with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov four times, not including our communication via message," he added.
Cavusoglu announced the attendance of both Kuleba and Lavrov to the Antalya Diplomacy Forum on Thursday, as he said both parties asked him to be present during the meeting.
On Twitter, the Turkish foreign minister said "upon President Erdogan's initiatives and our intensive diplomatic efforts, Foreign Ministers Lavrov of Russia and Kuleba of Ukraine have decided to meet with my participation on the margins of Antalya Diplomacy Forum."
"Hope this step will lead to peace and stability," he added.
Upon President @RTErdogan’s initiatives & our intensive diplomatic efforts, Foreign Ministers Sergei Lavrov of #Russia & Dmytro Kuleba of #Ukraine have decided to meet with my participation on the margins of @AntalyaDF.— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) March 7, 2022
Hope this step will lead to peace and stability.
The Antalya Diplomacy Forum will be held on March 11-13 in Turkiye's southern resort city of Antalya.
The minister commented further on his country's evacuation efforts from Ukraine, saying that at least 12,000 Turkish nationals have been evacuated from Ukraine, so far.
Turkiye is "one of the few countries which are keeping their missions open" in Ukraine, he said, adding the country's embassy in Kyiv and consulate in Odessa were both still functional.
Russia's war on Ukraine has been met with outrage from the international community, with the European Union, UK, and US, among others, imposing a range of economic sanctions on Moscow.
At least 364 civilians have been killed and 759 others injured in Ukraine since Russia launched a war against the Eastern European country on Feb. 24, according to UN figures, with the real toll feared to be higher.
More than 1.7 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, according to the UN refugee agency. Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.