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Turkiye Fidan to visit Russia as Ukraine grain deal, Syria talks stall

August 31, 2023 at 8:09 pm

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria and Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel (not seen) hold a joint press conference in Ankara, Turkiye on August 22, 2023 [Murat Gök – Anadolu Agency]

Turkish Foreign Minister, Hakan Fidan, on Thursday met Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow to discuss the latest situation in Ukraine, the collapsed Black Sea grain deal and a proposal by Moscow for an alternative to it, local Turkish media reports.

According to the report, the diplomats further tackled another potential prisoner swap in the ongoing war and the meeting between their leaders, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Vladimir Putin, which Turkish sources said would take place on 4 September earlier on Thursday.

Russia pulled out last month from the year-old deal, brokered by Turkiye and the United Nations, that had enabled Ukraine to export grain from its Black Sea ports, despite the war.

“We see these ways cannot be an alternative to the original initiative and contain risks,” Fidan said at a news conference with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, in Kyiv last week.

President Erdogan also strives to accomplish brokering a permanent truce between the two countries. He voiced hope for results because of his efforts “if Putin and Zelenskyy agree on our mediation.”

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