Pope Francis hails President Erdogan's efforts to end war in Ukraine, says Turkish envoy

Pope Francis expressed his gratitude to Turkiye, which has been working for peace, says Turkiye's Vatican Ambassador Goktas.

Pope Francis hails President Erdogan's efforts to end war in Ukraine, says Turkish envoy

Pope Francis appreciates the Turkish president's efforts to reconcile Ukraine and Russia, said Turkiye's envoy to the Vatican on Sunday.

"The Pope expressed his gratitude to Turkey, which has been in contact with both sides since the beginning of the conflict and has been working for peace," Ambassador Lutfullah Goktas said on Twitter, recounting his meeting with Francis to discuss Russia's war on Ukraine.

Saying of their meeting that a "solution can only be found through diplomacy and negotiations, not thru war," Goktas added: "The only possible way to establish a ceasefire and begin negotiations is through diplomacy."

Gokas also told the pontiff about Turkiye's diplomatic initiatives and humanitarian assistance efforts, stressing that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "is still trying to reconcile" Russia and Ukraine.

Goktas also noted that Turkiye "attaches great importance to (the) Pope's calls for peace to the sides."

"I was extremely pleased to observe that the Pope, who has been closely following our President's reconciliation efforts, is also sharing the same sensitivities with our country," he added.

Goktas also told Francis about Turkiye's fight against terror groups "for years for its national security," and said the country expects its allies "to display the same determination."

Like the Holy See, Turkiye wants the wars and human tragedies to come to an end, he noted.

At least 4,301 civilians have been killed and 4,735 injured since the war in Ukraine began on Feb. 24, according to UN estimates. The true toll is believed to be significantly higher.

Over 6.6 million people have fled to other countries, while more than 7.7 million have been internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency. That represents roughly one-third of Ukraine's pre-war population of 43 million people.