KIEV, Ukraine - The relationship between Ukraine and Turkey is "at its best," Ukraine's foreign minister said Friday.
“We are satisfied with the level of understanding between our countries, between our leaders, and with the volume of projects, both our countries are engaging,” Dmytro Kuleba said in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency.
“In my view, you know, good relations between Ukraine and Turkey is good, not only for our bilateral cooperation but also for the region as a whole,” according to Kuleba.
He said, Ukraine will continue to invest in this relationship and is happy to see that Turkey shares the same intention.
The Ukrainian diplomat said his country enjoys excellent cooperation with Turkey in Akinci projects, Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV).
“This is the project where trust and production mechanisms are being literally built between Ukraine and Turkey. If we succeed on Akinci project, and we seem to be succeeding, it means that we can engage into more ambitious projects into projects or for larger scale which will have a greater impact on world markets,” he said, adding that the Antonov cargo plane project is also on the agenda.
“There is a high demand for cargo planes in the world. And there are some countries that are interested in working with Antonov in developing mutual projects. We keep this on the table and we will be discussing this project or this program, it is bigger than a project, with our Turkish colleagues.”
Kuleba said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will visit Ukraine in late December.
“This will be the first meeting of the Quadriga format. Quadriga is when ministers of foreign affairs and defense from one country simultaneously meet with ministers of defense and foreign affairs from another country. We have established this format during the last visit of [Ukrainian] President [Vladimir] Zelensky. He agreed with [Turkish] President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan,” he said.
This format demonstrates “the uniqueness of our partnership and the depth of our engagement with Turkey.”
-Ukraine supports Azerbaijan’s sovereignty
Ukraine has supported Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Kuleba.
“Ukraine has consistently supported territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan and approaches the conflict around Nagorno Karabakh from the perspective of international law,” he said.
“I believe that the main lesson of the recent escalation, that led to the deal that was brokered, is that there are no frozen or protracted conflicts in the world. Every conflict, however calm or forgotten it may look at first sight can at any given second become a heated conflict and break to the headlines of world media,” according to Kuleba.
“This is particularly important for us in Ukraine because we have Russian aggression against our country. And Crimea was illegally occupied by Russia. Our soldiers still die in the east. It's a low-intensity conflict but the conflict is there. So, nothing should be forgotten.”
The top diplomat said Ukraine shares the same position as Turkey when it comes to the conflict in Libya.
“Before the war, we enjoyed an excellent relationship with Libya. We traded with them extensively. We will continue to support all legitimate forces in Libya, who will enjoy the sport of the international community, namely the United Nations,” said Kuleba.
“I appreciate the openness of my Turkish colleague Mevlut Cavusoglu to engage with Ukraine on some specific Libya related issues. So, we have dialogue and we have cooperation on this field as well,” he added.
*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak
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