President of Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelenskyy after meeting with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: We focused on how Türkiye can help restore peace and international order

8 July 2023 - 02:39

Volodymyr Zelenskyy after meeting with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: We focused on how Türkiye can help restore peace and international order

During the working visit of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the Republic of Türkiye, negotiations between the Head of the Ukrainian State and the President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took place.

Zelenskyy congratulated Erdoğan on his re-election as President of the Republic of Türkiye and thanked him personally, his team, and all Turkish citizens for seeking peace and security for the peoples of the two states.

"I also want to thank you for your hospitality and respect for our people, for the Ukrainian families who found refuge on your land, escaping from Russia's aggression against our state and people. It is very important that our people feel the warmth of Turkish hearts and Turkish support in such a difficult time," the Ukrainian Head of State said at a meeting with media representatives following the negotiations with the leader of the Republic of Türkiye in Istanbul.

"Today, we focused primarily on how the leadership of Türkiye and yours personally, Mr. President, can help restore peace and a normal international order when the interests of all nations are balanced," Zelenskyy said.

At the meeting, the leaders of the two states discussed in detail the situation in the Black Sea region and Europe in general. According to the President of Ukraine, he and Erdoğan share the same vision regarding the inadmissibility of imposing on Ukraine and Türkiye anything in the Black Sea region that does not meet the interests of the two nations.

"The Black Sea should be a space of security, cooperation, and not war and any crises or so-called frozen conflicts that can flare up again at any moment and strike at life and people. I am grateful to Türkiye for its unwavering support of Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty," Zelenskyy said.

Separately, the parties discussed the situation in Crimea occupied by Russia, which it uses as a springboard for threats and dangers.

"In any case, we will restore our legal control over Crimea and return security to the peninsula and justice to all people in Crimea, in particular to the Crimean Tatar people, who are now, unfortunately, once again experiencing brutal repression and pressure from Russia," the President of Ukraine said.

The Head of State thanked the Turkish side for supporting the Black Sea Grain Initiative and the Grain from Ukraine humanitarian initiative and emphasized the need to continue jointly helping the world to resist hunger and social chaos in those countries where the food security situation is critical.

"Recently, unfortunately, Russia has been blocking the movement of vessels with food through corridors in the Black Sea as much as possible. Russia behaves as if it owns the entire Black Sea, as if it is the master here. The nations of our region need greater efforts to limit Russia's aggressive ambitions and guarantee stability in the Black Sea region. The food security of many nations in Africa, Asia, and Europe depends on our cooperation here," Zelenskyy said.

The Head of the Ukrainian State also said that the parties discussed joint projects in various fields that would strengthen security, increase the number of jobs and promote economic growth.

"This concerns cooperation in the military-industrial complex, developing technologies, manufacturing drones, in other strategic fields. Relevant agreements have also been signed. I invited Türkiye to join the large-scale work to rebuild Ukraine, its reconstruction and transformation – this is a huge economic project. And we obviously need Türkiye's experience, its investments, and technologies," the President said.

He also thanked Türkiye for supporting the Ukrainian Peace Formula.

"We are actively working on the implementation of the Formula points, preparing the Global Peace Summit, and it is very important that Türkiye be among the leaders in such work," the Head of State said.

As for cooperation within NATO, in particular, preparations for the summit in Vilnius, Zelenskyy raised the issue of inviting our country to join the Alliance.

"I was glad to hear that the President said that Ukraine deserves to become a member of NATO," he said.

The President of Ukraine also emphasized the important assistance of Türkiye and Erdoğan personally in releasing Ukrainian citizens from Russian captivity.

"I want to thank you individually for this. Ukrainians will always appreciate this, and I believe that, together, we will be able to do even more, saving lives and protecting stability," the Ukrainian Head of State said.

For his part, Erdoğan said that Türkiye made all possible efforts to prevent Russia's war against Ukraine, and after it started, declared the inadmissibility of this unjust aggression, which is contrary to international law. He expressed condolences in connection with the death of Ukrainians in the war.

"From the beginning of the annexation of Crimea – contrary to international law – until today, we have been declaring on all platforms our support for Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence," the President of the Republic of Türkiye said.

According to him, Türkiye provides concrete assistance to Ukraine in the political, economic, humanitarian and technical areas and also makes significant efforts to end the war through negotiations based on international law. Erdoğan said that Turkish-Ukrainian friendship is only getting stronger.

The President of Türkiye said that today, the Crimean Tatars are also fighting hard for the freedom of Ukraine and thanked Zelenskyy for his work to guarantee the rights of the Crimean Tatar people.

"We will continue making efforts to end the war on the basis of negotiations, being in full solidarity with Ukraine," he assured.

Erdoğan also emphasized the need to continue the Black Sea Grain Initiative, launched in July 2022 with the mediation efforts of Türkiye and the United Nations.

"On July 17, the validity period of this initiative, thanks to which, during the year, about 33 million tonnes of grain were delivered to those in need, expires. I'm looking forward to the continuation of this initiative. I am convinced that all interested parties will act, being aware of global responsibility," the President of Türkiye said.

In his opinion, it is necessary to continue the operation of the grain corridor for a longer period. Erdoğan said he would discuss this issue with the President of the Russian Federation because Turkish vessels remain blocked in the ports.

The Turkish leader also said that Ukraine deserves NATO membership.

In addition, Erdoğan declared his readiness to provide all necessary support for Ukraine's recovery, and Turkish construction companies will help in the reconstruction of our country.