President Volodymyr Zelensky made a working visit to Turkey where he held talks with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Following the meeting in Istanbul, the heads of state signed a joint declaration of the ninth meeting of the High-Level Strategic Council between Ukraine and Turkey.

As the President’s Office informs, Zelensky and Erdoğan agreed to cooperate in the following areas:

  • support the establishment of the Crimean Platform as a tool to settle the issue of occupation of the peninsula;
  • deepen cooperation in economy, trade, tourism, security, defence industry, science, education, and youth;
  • develop cooperation and joint efforts in the fight against terrorism, separatism, and extremism;
  • strengthen cooperation in improving the living conditions of Ukrainian citizens, in particular, Crimean Tatars who were forced to leave Crimea due to the occupation of the peninsula;
  • provide prompt processing of extradition requests.

Kyiv and Ankara also agreed to continue coordinating steps to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, including the de-occupation of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, as well as territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Following the meeting with Zelensky, the President of Turkey confirmed his country’s decision in principle not to recognise the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. At the same time, Erdoğan said that the situation in Donbas should be resolved peacefully within the framework of the Minsk Agreements.

Turkey also supported Ukraine’s NATO membership prospects, including its intention to obtain the NATO Membership Action Plan in the near future. In addition, according to Zelensky, the authorities of Ukraine and Turkey have a common stance on the issues of security and counteraction to threats in the Black Sea region.

Bohdan Marusyak

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