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UPDATE - Turkish foreign minister urges diplomacy to settle crisis in Ukraine

UPDATE - Turkish foreign minister urges diplomacy to settle crisis in Ukraine
'Minsk agreements, compliance with international law are important,' says Mevlut Cavusoglu

ADDS MORE REMARKS BY TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER

By Nazli Yuzbasioglu

ANKARA (AA) – The Turkish foreign minister on Thursday urged diplomacy to resolve the crisis in Ukraine.

"The crisis in Ukraine should be settled through diplomacy. The Minsk agreements and compliance with international law are important," Mevlut Cavusoglu said during his address at the 28th meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council in Stockholm, Sweden.

Turkey will not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea, Cavusoglu reiterated, expressing Ankara's concern about the human rights violations against the Crimean Tatars.

Longstanding tensions over Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 have been exacerbated by Russian-backed separatists in the eastern border region of Donbas, along with recent Russian military buildup decried by the West.

Amid the buildup, Russia has accused Ukraine of provocations, a charge Kyiv denies.


- Minsk agreements

The Minsk agreements were signed to stop the ongoing conflict between the pro-Russian separatists and the Kyiv administration.

The agreements included a cease-fire in the region and prisoner exchange while also allowing Kyiv to make a constitutional amendment that would give Donbas a special status.

The pro-Russian separatists, on the other hand, were supposed to withdraw their weapons from the Ukraine-Russia border.

However, the agreements' implementation has been hampered as the two sides accuse each other of violating the cease-fire.


- Challenges in OSCE area

On the OSCE, which Cavusoglu said is "far from the cooperative spirit of 1975," the Turkish top diplomat urged the parties to revive the collaborative spirit by eliminating the lack of trust between member states.

The security challenges in the OSCE area should be address effectively, he also said.

"In the South Caucasus, there is a window of opportunity for lasting peace. The Minsk Group co-chairs, together with the permanent members of the group, can also make contributions based on the new realities," Cavusoglu asserted.

Efforts for peaceful and sustainable solutions in Georgia and Moldova should continue, he added.

Also addressing the rise of xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in OSCE countries, Cavusoglu stressed that they cannot turn a blind eye to these dangerous trends, which he called "threats to common values."

source: News Feed
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