Türkİye, World, Europe, top headline, Russia-Ukraine War

Turkiye to maintain determined efforts for permanent cease-fire in Ukraine, says President Erdogan

Turkiye, Germany agreed to step up diplomatic efforts for Ukraine solution, says Turkish president alongside German chancellor

Seda Sevencan, Jeyhun Aliyev, and Ahmet Gencturk   | 14.03.2022
Turkiye to maintain determined efforts for permanent cease-fire in Ukraine, says President Erdogan

ANKARA 

Turkiye will resolutely maintain its efforts for a permanent cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine, the Turkish president said on Monday.

Speaking at a joint news conference in the capital Ankara with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkiye and Germany had agreed to step up diplomatic efforts to solve the Ukraine war crisis while also taking measures to protect European security.

"We place importance on working in close cooperation with Germany on regional matters. Recent developments in our region have proven that Turkiye has a key role in many areas, security and energy in particular," Erdogan said.

"We as two NATO allies have reaffirmed our shared views and concerns (on the Russia-Ukraine issue). We have agreed that diplomatic efforts for a resolution should be sped up while taking necessary measures for the security of Europe," he added.

Erdogan said Turkiye had contributed to the process by bringing together the parties in Russia’s war on Ukraine and establishing dialogue.

Following Turkiye's efforts, the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers met in Antalya last week for their first face-to-face talks since the war started on Feb. 24.

"Organizing such a meeting as the war was going on was in itself an important diplomatic achievement. We will persistently continue our efforts to reach a lasting cease-fire," Erdogan said.

Turkiye, Germany target $50B in bilateral trade

Turkish-German relations were also discussed during their meeting, Erdogan said, adding that the current high-level consultation mechanisms with Germany should be revived.

"As two G20 countries, further advancing our economic partnership in the new global order will be to our mutual benefit. Germany is Turkiye's number one partner in exports and number two in imports," he said.

Erdogan said Turkiye and Germany are determined to boost their bilateral trade volume to $50 billion.

He also underlined that the bilateral trade volume of the two states was around $38 billion in 2020, while last year it climbed to $41 billion.

Turkiye, Germany target $50B in bilateral trade

The bilateral relations between Turkiye and Germany were also on the agenda of their meeting, Erdogan said, adding that the current high-level consultation mechanisms with Germany should be revived.

"As two G20 countries, further advancing our economic partnership in the new global order will be to our mutual benefit. Germany is Turkiye's number one partner in exports and number two in imports," he said.

Erdogan said Turkiye and Germany are determined to boost their bilateral trade volume to $50 billion. Germany is already the largest destination for Turkish exports.

He also underlined that the bilateral trade volume of the two states was around $38 billion in 2020, while it topped $41 billion last year.

'Humanitarian responsibility'

Scholz called on Russian President Putin to stop the war in Ukraine now, adding that protecting refugees from the conflict is "our humanitarian responsibility".

He stressed that with every missile fired at Ukraine, Russia's separation from the international community grows.

"We appeal to the president of the Russian Federation. We say stop now. And we say it can only be a diplomatic solution," he added.

On the immigration and refugee issue, Scholz said: "At the moment, we see about Ukraine that these issues do not end and as long as there is violence, unfortunately, people will still migrate and seek safe places."

The Russia-Ukraine war, which began on Feb. 24, triggered a flood of Ukrainian refugees into other countries – 2.8 million at last count, according to the UN refugee agency.

Scholz said closing the Turkish Straits to warships in line with the Montreux Convention is an important contribution to peace and he thanked Turkiye for doing this.

Ukraine, he said, must decide what is right for itself in its negotiations with Russia.

"As we speak, we are speaking to help Ukraine. But Ukraine must decide what is right for itself," he explained.

Energy cooperation

The German chancellor also underlined the importance of energy cooperation between the EU and Turkiye.

"Not only for Germany and Turkiye, but also the EU and Turkiye, of course, cooperation in the field of energy is very important."

Germany and its new government want to evaluate the potential for better relations with Turkiye, underlined Scholz, who took office last December, succeeding Angela Merkel's 16-year turn as chancellor.

He added that high-level dialogue formats between Turkiye and the EU will be activated, and that negotiations on updating the 1995 Customs Union will also continue.

Thanking Erdogan for a fruitful exchange of views, Scholz said, "I will be very happy to continue our cooperation in the future."

Russia's war on Ukraine has drawn international condemnation, led to financial sanctions on Moscow, and spurred an exodus of global firms from Russia.

At least 596 civilians have been killed and 1,067 injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, according to the UN, which, however, cautioned that it is difficult to get accurate figures amid the fog of war.

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