Turkey reaffirms willingness to meditate to de-escalate Russia-Ukraine tension

Anadolu Agency speaks to presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin

Baris Seckin   | 04.12.2021
Turkey reaffirms willingness to meditate to de-escalate Russia-Ukraine tension


Turkey on Saturday reaffirmed its willingness to meditate to de-escalate rising tension between Moscow and Kyiv amid concerns over Russia’s military build-up near the border with Ukraine.

"We are ready to play our role to de-escalate tension between the two countries, with whom we maintain good relations," Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told Anadolu Agency.

Reiterating that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had made a proposal to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in this context, he said further escalation would harm all parties involved.

Longstanding tensions over Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 have been exacerbated by Russian-backed separatists in the eastern border region of Donbas, along with a Russian military buildup decried by the West.

Referring to the latest developments in Libya ahead of elections scheduled for Dec. 24, Kalin said Turkey supports the polls to be held as planned.

He, however, maintained that efforts to bring rivals together and encourage political dialogue should continue, regardless.

Turkey, he said, would remain a staunch supporter of the Libyan people and the legitimate government, irrespective of the election results.

On a query on the Cyprus issue, Kalin said many agree that isolation, sanctions, and the embargo Turkish Cypriots have had to endure are neither just nor legitimate.

Turkish Cypriots tried for decades to find a solution and showed a constructive approach as proven during the Annan Plan in 2004 and Crans Montana talks in 2015-2017, he said, adding that a renewed endeavor for the resolution must accept equal political rights and sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriot side.

On the re-rapprochement with certain countries in the region, Kalin emphasized that Turkey is ready to negotiate with any party on the basis of equality, mutual respect, and interests.

The island of Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.

Ethnic attacks starting in the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.

In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece’s annexation led to Turkey’s military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded in 1983.

*Writing by Ahmet Gencturk

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