Turkey’s Erdoğan urges end of Ukraine war in call with Putin

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Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday called for the “immediate cessation” of the war in Ukraine during a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Erdoğan also “thanked President Putin for his positive stance regarding the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative” and added that the two countries “could take further steps” when it comes to economic cooperation, the Turkish presidency’s communications directorate said in a statement on Saturday.

The Black Sea grain deal, which allowed the export of foodstuffs from Ukraine to resume after Moscow’s unlawful invasion of the country blocked several ports, was extended last weekend. The grain agreement was originally signed last summer by Kyiv and Moscow under the auspices of the United Nations.

The Kremlin said in a statement following the Putin-Erdoğan phone call that the two leaders also discussed the situation in Syria.

They emphasized “the need to continue the process of normalizing relations between Turkey and Syria” and “Russia’s constructive role as a mediator,” according to the statement.