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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Turkey’s UN envoy calls for restraint amid Ukraine crisis

In his remarks at the UN General Assembly meeting, Sinirlioglu said there is a "new act of aggression" in Ukraine and it is "our legal and moral obligation" to support Ukraine's independence, territorial integrity, sovereignty, and political unity.

Turkiye’s UN representative Feridun Sinirlioglu on Wednesday called for “restraint and common sense” amid the Ukraine crisis, saying “we do not need nor do we want a new war in our region”.

In his remarks at UN General Assembly meeting, Sinirlioglu said there is a “new act of aggression” in Ukraine and it is “our legal and moral obligation” to support Ukraine’s independence, territorial integrity, sovereignty, and political unity.

The Turkish envoy was referring to Russia’s recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent states and his decision to send troops there for “peacekeeping missions”.

“We call upon Russia to reverse its decision and return to diplomacy and dialogue on the basis of the Minsk agreements. This is the only way that will take us away from the precipice,” said Sinirlioglu.

“We urge the parties to get together around the negotiation table without delay. We are ready to facilitate this process and host technical and/or high-level meetings,” he added.

Turkey to preserve ties with Russia

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan highlighted the necessity of maintaining calm and will maintain relations with both countries amid ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine as Moscow recognized the sovereignty of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR).

Speaking to reporters on his way back from Senegal on Wednesday, Erdogan said Turkey cooperates with both Russia and Ukraine and will not halt relations or plan to impose sanctions against Moscow.

Read more: Turkey urges Russia and Ukraine to de-escalate tensions

“We have political, military and economic relations with Russia. Same with Ukraine. We cannot give this up if you ask me because our country has high interests in this regard,” Erdogan said.

He noted that Turkey aims to resolve the issue without harming relations and will conduct talks with the Turkish delegation as soon as he returns home.

Careful calculations need to be made to figure out the pros and cons of actions to be taken against Russia, Erdogan said, noting that steps need to be taken in a delicate manner.

“Some say the conflict will boost the costs of natural gas while others discuss turning off the valves. We need to take our steps with this sensitivity in mind,” he said, adding that Turkish officials are currently in contact with Russian counterparts to arrange a meeting.

Read more: Turkey confirms working with Pakistan on 5th generation fighter jet

“We will continue phone diplomacy and I hope we achieve favorable results,” Erdogan said.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk