Erdogan assures Putin wants to end war “as soon as possible”

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Erdogan assures Putin wants to end war “as soon as possible”

Turkish president confirms there will be an exchange of 200 hostages and that Moscow will return the “invaded countries” to Kiev

“In Uzbekistan I met President Putin and we had very extensive discussions. And he has shown me that he is willing to put an end to this as soon as possible. That was my impression, because the current state of affairs is quite problematic,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told PBS in an interview.

The Turkish leader is in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly and took the opportunity to speak with veteran journalist Judy Woodruff about the war in Ukraine, a conflict in which he has become the major mediator between Kiev and Moscow. It is impossible to know what the future holds, but at least Erdogan has first-hand information, as he has met three times with his Russian counterpart in the past three months. It is the only remaining bridge for the United States and the European Union to reach the Kremlin.

Turkey’s president, with a very calm face in front of the cameras, announced that we will see “an important step” in the conflict in the coming days and shortly afterwards he alluded to an “exchange of 200 hostages” between the two sides. Erdogan hopes the war will be resolved with a “mutual agreement” and defends Ukraine’s territorial unity, which would mean Moscow’s return of the occupied territories. “The invaded land will be returned to Kiev,” Erdogan told PBS, without specifying whether it is just the land that has won since February.

This is a particularly complicated point as the first of Ukraine’s demands is the restoration of the entire territory and there is no indication that Moscow intends to return places such as Crimea, which it has occupied since 2014. Ankara has repeatedly spoken with Russia about the need to return this peninsula to its “true owners”, but the president regretted that no progress had been made.

Erdogan has personally taken on the management of the crisis in Ukraine and knows that the success of this mission could strengthen his position abroad and especially before the elections, when the presidency is at stake in ten months’ time.

Source: La Verdad

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