Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in Lviv to discuss with Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy and UN's Antonio Guterres potential steps for a political solution to the Ukraine conflict.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has met his Ukrainian counterpart and the United Nations chief in western Ukraine's Lviv city for a trilateral summit where they would discuss diplomatic solutions to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Erdogan reached Lviv on a daylong visit on Thursday and held bilateral talks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The meeting marked Erdogan's first in-person discussion with Zelenskyy since Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24.
Erdogan has met Russian President Vladimir Putin twice in recent months, with the Turkish leader taking the lead in mediating between Ukraine and Russia. Delegations from the two sides have earlier met in Türkiye as part of those efforts.
Thursday's trilateral summit in Lviv would focus on potential political steps to bring an end to the deadly fighting in Ukraine. The issue of Ukrainian grain exports, too, would be on the agenda.
Before that, Zelenskyy also held talks with visiting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, seeking urgent action to ensure the security of Europe's largest nuclear power plant that is currently under Russian control.
Kiev and Moscow have traded accusations over a series of strikes this month on or near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southern Ukraine amid concerns over a nuclear accident.
"This deliberate terror on the part of the aggressor can have global catastrophic consequences for the whole world. Therefore, the UN must ensure the security of this strategic object, its demilitarisation and complete liberation from Russian troops," Zelenskyy wrote on Telegram.
At the meeting, Ukraine also agreed with Guterres to continue coordination on implementation of a Türkiye-brokered deal that restarted shipments of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports.
"We also discussed the possible directions of its development, the issue of illegal and forced deportation of Ukrainians, the release of our military personnel and medics from captivity," Zelenskyy added.
Türkiye's President Erdogan:— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) August 18, 2022
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UN chief to visit Odessa, Istanbul JCC
As part of his ongoing visit, Guterres will on Friday travel to Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odessa — one of the ports that has resumed grain shipments after months.
The UN chief will on Saturday visit Istanbul’s Joint Coordination Centre (JCC), which is overseeing the grain exports.
Ankara has coordinated with Moscow and Kiev to open a sea corridor from Ukraine for grain exports, drawing international praise for its mediator role in a breakthrough that is expected to ease global food shortages as well as inflation.
Türkiye, the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine signed the landmark agreement on July 22 to resume the exports. The Istanbul-based JCC is tasked with carrying out joint inspections at the entrances and exits of harbours.
Comprising representatives of Türkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine, the centre also ensures the safety of sea routes used by ships carrying foods items and fertilisers from three Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea, namely Odessa, Chernomorsk and Pivdennyi.