Türkiye pursues mediation efforts for Russia-Ukraine peace talks

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has disclosed ongoing intentions to facilitate peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, a diplomatic endeavor that seeks to alleviate tensions in the region.

"We talked about this in detail during the visit of [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky [to Türkiye] and during the meetings we held at the NATO leaders' summit. I hope we will get results after the two leaders go along with us for our mediation," Erdoğan told a group of journalists aboard his return flight from Hungary on Aug. 21.

His remarks follow Türkiye's previous mediation successes, including brokering the critical grain deal between Russia and Ukraine in July 2022. However, the agreement encountered a setback when Russia withdrew from it on July 17 this year, citing unmet obligations from the Ukrainian side.

Erdoğan remained optimistic about restoring the agreement, stating, "Our whole goal here is to take Russia's positive stance on the grain corridor issue through our phone conversations with Mr. [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin."

A recent phone conversation between Erdoğan and Putin in early August underscored the negative consequences resulting from the suspension of the grain agreement. Erdoğan vowed Türkiye would press ahead with "intensive efforts" and diplomacy to reestablish the agreement, lauding the deal as a "bridge for peace" and advocating for its restoration as a measure to maintain stability in the region.

"If we find the opportunity in the busy schedule, we will meet and talk face to face with Mr. Putin," Erdoğan said, recalling his upcoming participation at the G-20 Summit in India on Sept. 9-10 and the 78th General Assembly of the United Nations in the United States from Sept. 17 to 21.

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