Erdogan tells Putin cease-fire needed in Ukraine peace efforts

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Vladimir Putin in a phone call that peace efforts in the Russia-Ukraine war should be supported by a unilateral cease-fire and a “vision for a fair solution,” the Turkish presidency said on Thursday.

Erdogan and the Russian president have spoken repeatedly since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February. Turkiye acted as mediator alongside the United Nations to set up a deal allowing grain exports from Ukrainian ports.

“President Erdogan said calls for peace and negotiations should be supported by a unilateral cease-fire and a vision for a fair solution,” the readout said, adding that Erdogan reminded Putin of the positive outcomes of the grains corridor deal. Ukraine is a major global grain producer and exporter, but production and exports have fallen since Russia invaded and started blockading its seaports.

The two leaders also discussed Syria, with Erdogan telling Putin that concrete steps needed to be taken to clear Kurdish militants from the Syrian border region.—AP