UPDATES WITH TURKISH, UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTERS' MEETING
By Diyar Guldogan
ANKARA (AA) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday welcomed his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Ukrainian city of Lviv for talks.
Erdogan is paying a one-day visit to Lviv to have a bilateral meeting with Zelenskyy at the Potocki Palace and the leaders will discuss all aspects of Türkiye-Ukraine relations at the strategic partnership level.
The bilateral talks between Erdogan and Zelenskyy will be followed by a trilateral summit with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Erdogan, Zelenskyy, and Guterres will discuss steps that can be taken to end the Ukraine-Russia war through diplomatic means, and maintain the mechanism established for the export of Ukrainian grain to world markets, according to the Turkish presidency.
They are expected to hold a joint news conference after the trilateral meeting.
On July 22, Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed a deal in Istanbul to reopen three Ukrainian Black Sea ports for exporting Ukrainian grain stuck due to the Russia-Ukraine war, which is now in its sixth month.
To oversee the process, the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul was officially launched on July 27, comprising representatives from the three countries and the UN, to enable the safe transportation of commercial foodstuffs and fertilizers by merchant ships.
According to the UN, Guterres is also scheduled to visit the Ukrainian port city of Odesa to view the movement of grain following the trilateral meeting.
Guterres will head to Türkiye on Saturday and visit the JCC in Istanbul.
- Turkish, Ukrainian defense chiefs gathering
On the sidelines of the leaders' bilateral meeting, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and his Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov held a meeting.
Akar and Reznikov exchanged views on bilateral and regional defense and security issues, the Turkish National Defense Ministry said in a statement.