Erdogan offers to halt Ukraine war, terrorism in Afghanistan at CICA
Erdogan reiterates the endorsement of multi-mode transport routes and advocates for reviving the Silk Road linking Asia and Europe.
Referring to the war in Ukraine, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed his country's goal to stop the conflict at the sixth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in the Kazakh capital Astana.
"Our goal is to continue the momentum gained despite the difficulties in the field and to stop the bloodshed as soon as possible," Erdogan said, adding that efforts with the UN alongside other nations have been praised globally as he shed light on what is known as the grain deal, in addition to the prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine in September as "tangible achievements".
Erdogan is due to convene with Putin to discuss recent developments and the war on Thursday after Ankara earlier this week suggested that Russia and Ukraine were steering away from a diplomatic solution. "I say that a just peace can be achieved through diplomacy, that there will be no winners in war and no losers in a just peace," he said at CICA.
Kremlin foreign policy advisor Yuri Ushakov confirmed to reporters on Wednesday that Russia believes Erdogan will "officially" offer to mediate at Thursday's meeting. "The Turks are offering their mediation. If any talks take place, then most likely they will be on their territory: Istanbul or Ankara," he said, adding, "Erdoğan will probably propose something officially."
This comes after Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said Tuesday that Russia has offered to mediate a meeting between Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, but the Turkish leader "is not very warm" to this idea yet.
Turkish mediation facilitated and bore the multilateral UN-brokered agreement known as the grain deal, aimed at lifting restrictions on the logistics of Russian food exports and on Moscow's assistance in the export of Ukrainian grain, with Istanbul hosting the control center that would monitor the export of Ukrainian grain to resolve the global food crisis.
Erdogan expressed his sentiment toward the summit, commenting, “We are going through a period in which the balances in the world have changed and we face serious tests in many fields. Threats such as Islamophobia and xenophobia are added to this. The structure that cares about the happiness of a handful of minorities who ignore the overwhelming majority of the world's population still remains. It should be shaped by a new understanding that is just and equitable."
One of the themes at the CICA was terrorism, specifically in Afghanistan, whereby the Turkish President labeled ISIS leaders, in addition to those of other groups Turkey deems terrorist, as threats to the world.
"The entities that help terrorist groups and take part in propaganda financing, and recruiting activities should be blocked with no discrimination," he underlined. In regard to Afghanistan's involvement, he called on the leaders to support Afghanistan saying, “We should not leave Afghanistan to its fate. We, as the international community, should continue to support it with humanitarian aid."
Putin called on the international community, in addition to suggesting the inclusion of the SCO in the process, to promote and advocate for Afghanistan's economic recovery. "First of all, we call for compensating for the damage caused to Afghans during the years of occupation and unfreezing the illegally blocked Afghan assets," he said.
Erdogan concluded by reiterating Turkey's endorsement of multi-mode transport routes and advocacy for reviving the Silk Road linking Asia and Europe.