Turkey is in favor of a peaceful and prompt end to the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, the country's national defense minister said on Tuesday.
"As we've always said, we're in favor of a peaceful end to the tension between Russia and Ukraine respecting territorial integrity within the framework of international law," said Hulusi Akar in a video conference with senior military staff.
"For this, we as Turkey provide all manner of support to both sides so talks are held, dialogue is established and this issue is resolved via peaceful means as soon as possible," said Akar.
Underlining that Turkey does not recognize Russia's occupation of Crimea, Akar stressed that Ankara is closely concerned with the wellbeing and future of the Crimean Tatars in the region.
The conflict in the southeast of Ukraine has escalated in recent weeks. Kyiv and separatists accuse each other of violating the truce.
Ukraine also accuses Russia of deploying troops to their mutual border. Moscow says this is a response to Kyiv's "provocative actions."
During the conference, Akar also held a phone conversation with two Turkish Air Force pilots who recently survived a training flight crash off the coast of the Foca district of western Izmir province.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.