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The Istanbul discussions provided a meaningful incentive’ for the end of the war: Erdogan

ANKARA, Turkey β€” In a phone chat with his Ukrainian counterpart on Thursday, Turkey’s president stated that talks between Russia and Ukraine held this week in Istanbul have given “significant impetus” to efforts to end the war.

According to a statement from Turkey’s Communications Directorate, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan again renewed his offer to host Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Vladimir Putin for discussions to establish peace between Ukraine and Russia.

Following their conversation, Zelenskyy praised Erdogan as a “true friend of Ukraine” in a tweet.

Zelenskyy thanked Erdogan for his willingness to become a guarantor of Ukraine’s security, and the two leaders “agreed on additional efforts toward peace,” according to Zelenskyy.

Turkey has received significant plaudits for its efforts to stop the war, because of its rare position of having close connections with both Russia and Ukraine.

Talks between Russian and Ukrainian teams in Istanbul on Tuesday were hailed as a milestone in the effort to end hostilities that have killed at least 1,232 civilians and injured 1,935 more since February 24, according to the latest UN numbers.

Following the Istanbul conference, a Ukrainian negotiator stated that Ukraine wants Turkey to be one of the guarantors in any deal with Moscow.

Turkey also brought the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministries together earlier this month in Antalya, its southern resort city, in the only meeting of top government officials from the two sides since the war began.

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