Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday held a telephonic conversation to discuss the need for the immediate evacuation of civilians from the mostly Russian-occupied port city of Mariupol, state-run AA news site reported.
Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, Zelenskyy and Erdoğan discussed the latest situation on the ground and the negotiation process during the phone call.
The phone call comes a day ahead of scheduled talks between the Turkish President and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
President Zelenskyy stressed “the need for the immediate evacuation of civilians from Mariupol, including Azovstal and immediate exchange of blocked troops”.
“Discussed the course of the negotiation process, coordination with Turkey and other countries of security guarantees for our state. Raised issues related to Ukraine’s defence capabilities and global food security, which is under threat due to the blocking of navigation in the Black Sea,” AA cited Zelenskyy as saying in Twitter.
Turkey has been treading a diplomatic tightrope between allies Russia and Ukraine since the war began on February 24.
In March, Turkey brought together the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers in its southern resort city of Antalya in an attempt to end the war.
Earlier in the conflict, Turkey closed the vital Bosporus Strait to warships of belligerent countries.
On Saturday, Zelenskyy said that the peace talks with Russia in Turkey depended on Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin, but that Kyiv wanted substantive talks to happen in an effort to put an end to the war.
“I think that whoever started this war will be able to end it,” he told journalists at a metro station in the heart of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.