World Turkish president calls for 'dignified' Russia-Ukraine solution in address...

Turkish president calls for ‘dignified’ Russia-Ukraine solution in address to U.N.


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Sept. 20 (BP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan painted a picture of himself as a mediator in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, while addressing the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday in New York City.

“We think the war will never have a triumph, and a fair peace process will not have a loser,” Erdoğan said during his address.

“We are always underlining the significance of diplomacy in the settlement of the dispute.”

The opening of the 77th United Nations General Assembly marks the first time the international body has held a fully in-person meeting in three years.

Erdogan said in told PBS NewsHour in an interview that he expects any end of hostilities to include a return of all Russian-occupied territory to Ukraine

“The lands which were invaded will be returned to Ukraine,” he said.

“This is what is expected. This is what is wanted. Putin has taken certain steps. We have taken certain steps. An invasion cannot be justified.”

Attempting to appeal to all parties, Erdogan called on the international community to support a Turkish-lead initiative.

“And we would like to launch an appeal to all the international organizations and countries of the world to support (the) peaceful initiatives of Turkey to settle this dispute once and for all,” Erdoğan said, attempting to position himself as a neutral broker of peace.

“We need a dignified way out of this crisis. And that can only be possible through a diplomatic solution which is rational, which is fair, and which is applicable.”

Turkey did help facilitate an agreement between Russia and Ukraine in July, to allow large Ukrainian shipments of grain that had been stuck at ports on the Black Sea for months, to be moved.

The standoff was threatening global food security. Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu and Ukrainian infrastructure minister Oleksandr Kubrakov signed separate agreements in Turkey that allowed grain shipments to resume, and for Russia to export grain and fertilizers.

The grain shortage came as the world’s number of refugees continued to climb, well beyond those pushed out of Ukraine by the fighting.

Erdogan broached the subject, after recent comments by his country’s foreign minister, calling for an internal solution to the ongoing civil war in Syria. The situation has forced millions of refugees to flee the country and risk their lives in an attempt to find safety.

Turkey currently has around 4 million Syrian refugees on its soil.

Erdogan called on the international community to “extend the decision supporting the aid mechanism established in the north-west of Syria,” adding that his country has built 100,000 permanent residences to help refugees, with plans for an additional 200,000.

At the same time, the president criticized neighboring Greece, calling the country “tyrants” for its approach to handling the refugee crisis.

“Greece is unfortunately pushing back these refugees in an illegal and tyrannical fashion, turning the Aegean Sea into a graveyard for refugees,” said on Tuesday.


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