UN chief, Erdogan reaffirm 'common objective' of ending Ukraine war

Guterres expresses support for Turkiye’s diplomatic efforts to end conflict.

UN chief, Erdogan reaffirm 'common objective' of ending Ukraine war

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed their "common objective" of ending the war in Ukraine "as soon as possible," the UN said on Monday.

The leaders "stressed the urgent need for effective access through humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians and deliver much needed assistance to impacted communities," the UN said in a statement after Guterres met Erdogan in Ankara.

Guterres expressed his support for Turkiye's "on-going diplomatic efforts in relation to the war in Ukraine," noting that he and Erdogan "agreed to stay in contact to follow up on ongoing initiatives."

Talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations in Istanbul on March 29 were seen as a breakthrough in the push to halt hostilities that began on Feb. 24.

After the meeting, a Ukrainian negotiator said Kyiv wants Turkiye among the countries that will be guarantors in any deal with Moscow.

Turkiye also brought together the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers in its southern resort city of Antalya in March, the first meeting of senior government officials from the two sides since the start of the war.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine in what it called a “special military operation” to “denazify" and "demilitarize” its neighbor.

The West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia to force it to end the war that has killed thousands and driven millions of Ukrainians from their homes, including over 5 million to neighboring countries.