Leaders of Turkiye, Ukraine & UN meet in Lviv to discuss peace talks with Russia
By Ugur Duyan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres are meeting in Lviv, Ukraine, to discuss peace talks with Russia, Yeni Shafak reports.
The key issues on the agenda of the critical summit are to bring Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Zelensky together to commence peace negotiations between the two warring nations. Erdogan has been making efforts to bring the Russian and Ukrainian leaders to the negotiations table since the start of the war on February 24.
As a NATO member, Turkiye's intensive diplomacy between Ukraine and Russia has elevated Ankara to the forefront of the global search for peace.
Turkiye brought Russia and Ukraine's foreign ministers together in Antalya in March to end the six-month war as soon as possible. Following that, the ceasefire talks continued in Istanbul, but without producing any tangible results.
Erdogan's agenda is expected to include the details of talks at the level of leaders with the desire to continue negotiations. During Erdogan's visit, the grain corridor will take center stage.
The corridor established under UN leadership, as a result of Turkiye's efforts, allows grain flows from Black Sea ports to global markets. The diplomacy employed by Turkiye in the opening of the corridor was also regarded as an important step by the international community for bringing the parties to the peace process.
The leaders are expected to review the work of the grain corridor, operational since August 1, per the agreement the parties achieved in Istanbul. During the summit, Erdogan will also express Turkiye's position on the grain corridor.
Ukraine, which has over 20 million tons of grain on hand and can deliver it to the rest of the world thanks to Turkiye and the UN, has asked Ankara to expand the grain corridor to include iron shipments as well. President Erdogan will also provide first-hand information on Turkiye's reaction to the proposal.
Russia largely destroyed Ukraine's infrastructure during the war that began on February 24. While the Ukrainian government expects international support on this issue, it is also seeking assistance from President Erdogan.
The Turkish business, on the other hand, wants to play an active role in rebuilding Ukraine, which hopes to resume growth in 2023. Two meetings were held in Istanbul last month to discuss defense, energy, construction, and infrastructure investments, as well as grain export from Ukraine.
On July 22, historic documents were signed in Istanbul for grain shipments from Ukraine. The Joint Coordination Center was created at the National Defense University in Istanbul after the historic deal. Representatives from Turkiye, Russia, Ukraine, and the United Nations attended the opening of the center.
At the initiative of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, negotiations were held with the Russian and Ukrainian leaders to solve the problem. Several ministerial meetings were held, as well as intensive contacts were carried out through the Russian, Ukrainian, and Turkish special representatives.
As a result of the contacts, a four-way meeting was held for the first time in Istanbul on 13 July, and general principles were agreed upon at the meeting. Despite different approaches by some countries, those long and arduous efforts resulted in the July 22 deal. The Joint Coordination Center started its preparatory work on the campus of the National Defense University on July 23.
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