UN chief discusses Ukraine with Erdogan before meeting Putin in Moscow
Istanbul/United Nations, Apr 25 (EFE).- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said during a meeting Monday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he supports that nation’s efforts to mediate an end to the war between Ukraine and Russia.
Erdogan received Guterres at the presidential palace in Ankara, and the two leaders spoke for just over an hour, but did not appear before the press.
The “common objective is to end the war as soon as possible and to create conditions to end the suffering of civilians,” the UN said in a statement after the meeting.
Guterres and Erdogan also highlighted “the urgent need” for humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians and provide aid to communities affected by the conflict, the statement added.
The Turkish government so far has led the main effort to mediate talks between Russia and Ukraine, with several meetings having been held between the two parties that included discussions of a possible peace plan.
Those negotiations, however, are currently on hold.
Guterres visited Turkey before traveling to Moscow for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday and then on to Kyiv for a meeting Wednesday with Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
It will be Guterres’ first trip to the two warring countries since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on 24 February.
He has repeatedly called for a ceasefire and unsuccessfully sought out an Orthodox Easter humanitarian truce.
Asked about Tuesday’s meeting between Guterres and Putin, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyanskiy, said his country is not currently in favor of accepting a ceasefire. EFE