Russian and Ukrainian negotiators began face -to -face talks in Istanbul on Tuesday, Turkey’s official news agency said, with host Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urging them to “end this tragedy”.
Face-to-face talks at the Dolmabahce palace in Istanbul are aimed at ending a war that has killed about 20,000 people and forced more than 10 million people to leave their homes.
“Both sides have legitimate concerns. There is a possibility of reaching a solution that is acceptable to the international community,” President Erdogan said.
“It is up to both sides to end this tragedy,” he stressed, adding that “the extension of the conflict is not in anyone’s interest”.
“The whole world is waiting for good news from you,” he continued.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is also scheduled to meet Ukrainian and Russian delegations on Tuesday.
Turkey previously hosted on March 10 the first meeting between Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
The talks in the southern city of Antalya failed to produce a ceasefire or make any visible progress.
On Monday afternoon, President Erdogan said his country was the only one, since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, to have made a genuine effort to find a solution to the crisis through dialogue, negotiations and agreements.
Turkey, which shares the Black Sea coast with both Russia and Ukraine, is working to maintain good relations with the two and has offered to mediate since the start of the war.
Ankara is a traditional ally of Kyiv and has supplied the country with Bayraktar drones, which have been used by Ukraine in the conflict.
But it is also working to maintain good relations with Russia, where Turkey is heavily dependent on gas imports and tourism revenues.
Turkey is also working with France and Greece in a “humanitarian operation” to evacuate people from the devastated Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, which has been pounded by Russian troops.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)