Turkish president calls for Russia-Ukraine cease-fire ahead of Istanbul peace talks
‘A just peace will have no losers, prolonged conflict is not in anyone’s interest,’ Erdogan tells Russian, Ukrainian negotiators
ISTANBULThe Turkish president on Tuesday reiterated his call for a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine ahead of peace talks in Istanbul to end the war which is early into its second month.
“We believe that a just peace will have no losers, and a prolonged conflict is not in anyone’s interest,” Erdogan told Russian and Ukrainian negotiators in the Turkish metropolis.
He also said Turkiye is ready to host peace talks between Russian and Ukrainian presidents.
Erdogan underscored that Turkiye has displayed a fair approach to protect the rights, laws and sensitivities of both Russian and Ukrainian sides in all international platforms.
The fresh round of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine brokered by Turkiye is set to start in Istanbul on Tuesday.
Russian and Ukrainian negotiators arrived in the city on Monday.
Earlier, Erdogan said he will sit down with both sides for a "short meeting" before the peace talks.
He also said phone talks with his Ukrainian and Russian counterparts are continuing in a "favorable direction."
Several rounds of talks between Russia and Ukraine have been held in Belarus so far, and the last talks were held via video link on March 14, with no concrete results achieved yet.
Turkiye made headlines worldwide on March 10 for hosting the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers in the southern city of Antalya, the highest-level meeting of the two sides since the war began on Feb. 24.
Although the sides failed to reach an agreement on a cease-fire, they agreed to continue negotiations over the conflict.
Russia's war on Ukraine has met with international outrage, with the EU, US and UK, among others, implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.
At least 1,151 civilians have been killed in Ukraine and 1,824 injured, according to estimates by the UN, which cautioned that the true figure is likely far higher.
More than 3.87 million Ukrainians have also fled to several European countries, with millions more displaced inside the country, according to the UN refugee agency.
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