The two sides will exchange views on regional and international issues, with Turkiye offering to play mediator in the ongoing Ukraine-Russia standoff.


Turkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is visiting Kiev at the invitation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as Ankara makes diplomatic efforts to ease a standoff between Russia and Ukraine.

Erdogan's Thursday visit comes in the backdrop of Turkiye offering to play mediator in the ongoing crisis.

Ahead of his departure from Ankara, Erdogan said: "We hope to stop any form of confrontation between Russia and Ukraine."

In Kiev, Erdogan and Zelenskyy will attend the 10th meeting of the High-Level Strategic Council between their countries.

The two sides will exchange views on regional and international issues and discuss possibilities for further deepening bilateral cooperation.

They are also expected to sign various agreements and memoranda of understanding, including a historic free trade agreement.

"Our relations with Ukraine have registered remarkable progress in recent years on the basis of mutual understanding, trust and common interests," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday, marking the 30th year of diplomatic ties.

READ MORE: Erdogan: Turkiye wants peace in region, will travel to Ukraine in February

Diplomacy in focus

The statement added that the relations, which are currently at the level of strategic partnership, contribute "to the peace, stability and prosperity of our region".

It underlined Turkiye's support for Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty, while reiterating that Ankara does not recognise the "illegal annexation of Crimea".

Ahead of Erdogan's visit, Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan discussed the crisis in Ukraine.

The White House said in a statement on Tuesday that the two officials spoke about their commitment to "deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine".

Turkiye offered in November to mediate in the crisis, and diplomatic sources said last month both Russia and Ukraine were open to the idea of Ankara helping.

Turkiye is a maritime neighbour of both Ukraine and Russia, in the Black Sea, and has good ties with both.

Erdogan has said previously Turkiye does not want a war between Russia and Ukraine and hopes the issue will be resolved peacefully.

With Russia stationing about 100,000 troops near Ukraine's border, the West fears that Moscow is planning an invasion. Russia denies the charge and says it is free to move its troops within its territory.

READ MORE: Turkiye, US discuss Ukraine crisis ahead of Erdogan visit

Source: TRTWorld and agencies