Türkİye, Politics

Top Turkish, Czech diplomats talk bilateral ties, war in Ukraine

Bilateral ties have gained momentum over past decade, says Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

Muhammet Tarhan   | 11.06.2022
Top Turkish, Czech diplomats talk bilateral ties, war in Ukraine Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L) and Foreign Minister of Czech Republic, Jan Lipavsky (R) give a joint news conference in Prague, Czechia on June 11, 2022. ( Cem Ozdel - Anadolu Agency )

PRAGUE, Czech Republic

The Turkish foreign minister and his Czech counterpart on Saturday discussed revitalizing peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and lifting obstacles to grain exports.

Speaking at a joint news conference with top Czech diplomat Jan Lipavsky, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu commented on the countries’ bilateral relations as well as the ongoing Ukraine war.

"We told (Lipavsky) that the UN plan is the best, most righteous plan, and said that the details should be negotiated between the sides," Cavusoglu said, adding that Türkiye is ready to host a four-way meeting including representatives from the UN, Russia, Ukraine, and Türkiye itself.

Cavusoglu also said eliminating elements casting dark clouds over grain exports carries critical importance, especially for less-developed countries, and that Türkiye had told its position to Moscow and is awaiting a reply.

He noted that the two tackled regional matters along with the latest developments in the context of the war in Ukraine and NATO.

"Türkyie has always backed NATO’s open-door policy. There are two candidate countries (Finland and Sweden) right now," he stressed, highlighting terrorism and Russia as two major items on NATO’s current agenda.

"So we want the concerns of all allies to be taken into consideration. These two countries' support for terrorism is evident ... We have conveyed our expectations and concerns to both sides in written form, and now wait for replies," he said, referring to Finland and Sweden’s support for the terrorist group YPG/PKK.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The terrorist YPG is the PKK’s branch.

Areas of cooperation

Despite COVID-19, the trade volume between Türkiye and the Czech Republic moved towards a $5 billion goal, according to Cavusoglu, adding that their bilateral ties gained momentum over the past decade.

Furthermore, the countries have several areas of cooperation, including the defense industry, tourism, and education, Cavusoglu said.

Lipavsky, for his part, said his country sought to establish a dialogue with Türkiye to come up with solutions on energy security, migration, the rule of law, and human rights.

The war in Ukraine and the NATO summit set for Madrid in three weeks and the Turkish initiative to create a corridor to ensure grain exports were among the topics discussed, according to Lipavsky, adding that his country supported Ukraine since the start of the war.

Lipavsky said that he was convinced Finland and Sweden joining NATO would not only be a symbol of unity before the Russian aggression but would also boost the alliance’s defense capabilities.

*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas in Ankara

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