Ankara (Times Of Ocean)- Despite failing to achieve a breakthrough on a ceasefire or humanitarian concerns, the talks highlighted Turkey’s role as a mediator in the two-week-old conflict.
Following talks between the two sides’ top diplomats in Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told US counterpart Joe Biden that mediating the Ukraine-Russia war was important to Ankara.
The Turkish city of Antalya hosted the historic meeting between Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday.
The talks failed to produce a breakthrough on a ceasefire or humanitarian issues, but emphasized Turkey’s role as a mediator in the two-week-old war.
In a 45-minute telephone call with Biden, Erdogan said being able to talk to both sides and be a “facilitator” were important to Turkey.
President Biden “expressed appreciation” for Turkey’s mediation efforts, and both leaders “reaffirmed their strong support” for Ukraine against Russian aggression.
According to the Turkish presidency, Erdogan also demanded the lifting of Washington’s “unfair sanctions” placed on the NATO member after Turkey adopted a Russian defence system in 2019.
Ankara is seeking to acquire 40 F-16 fighter jets and the spare parts it needs to maintain and modernize its existing F-16 fleet.
Turkey spent $1.4 billion on its F-35 stealth fighter jets, but the aircraft have not yet arrived after the US froze the contract in 2019 over Ankara’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 anti-missile system.
In response, Washington excluded Turkey from its cutting-edge military programme because the system posed a threat to F-35 jets.
While Turkey has delivered combat drones to its ally Ukraine, it also wants to maintain good relations with Russia, on whose tourism sector and wheat and energy it relies heavily.