Duvar English - Anadolu Agency
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy on March 16 held a phone call in which they discussed the latest developments in the Russia-Ukraine war, according to a statement by Erdoğan's office.
Erdoğan reportedly told Zelenskyy that Turkey exerts diplomatic effort to restore peace between Russia and Ukraine and aims to achieve a permanent cease-fire as soon as possible.
"Pointing out that Turkey continued to its delivery of humanitarian aid to the Ukrainians both in Ukraine and in neighboring countries, President Erdoğan emphasized the importance of the effective functioning of humanitarian corridors," the Turkish Communications Directorate statement read.
Meanwhile, Zelenskyy said on Twitter: "Held talks with a friend of Ukraine, President of @ RTErdogan."
"Reported on the progress of the Ukrainian people's struggle against the ongoing aggression. Thankful for the important support. Ways to intensify peaceful dialogue were also discussed. #STopRussia," he further said.
Held talks with a friend of Ukraine, President of 🇹🇷 @RTErdogan. Reported on the progress of the 🇺🇦 people's struggle against the ongoing aggression. Thankful for the important support. Ways to intensify peaceful dialogue were also discussed. #StopRussia— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 16, 2022
Meanwhile, Erdoğan hosted his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda in Ankara, discussing the need for an acceleration of diplomatic efforts to end Russia's aggression on Ukraine.
In a joint press conference with Duda afterwards, Erdoğan said he would attend the NATO summit in Brussels on March 24.
"As two NATO allies, we have exchanged views (on the Ukraine issue)," Erdoğan said.
"We continue to engage in intense shuttle diplomacy. We will maintain our consultations and cooperation with Poland in this process," he said.
Duba praised Turkey's mediation efforts to end the Ukraine-Russia war, saying: "Turkey is a very important state in the region. It has been making a lot of contributions and it plays a great role for peace."
"I know how hard he (Erdoğan) tries to ensure that peace prevails," Duba said.
At least 726 civilians have been killed so far in Ukraine and 1,174 have been injured, according to UN estimates, with the true casualty toll is believed to be higher, particularly in territories that remain under the Ukrainian government control.
More than 3 million refugees have fled to neighboring countries, according to the global body.