UN chief visits Turkey before talks with Russia, Ukraine

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UN chief visits Turkey before talks with Russia, Ukraine

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday in the capital Ankara, before heading to Moscow and Kiev for talks on resolving the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, reported Xinhua, quoting Turkey's Presidency.

Guterres stopped by Ankara since Erdogan has long been engaging with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a bid to support efforts for a peace deal.

The UN official will meet Putin and Zelensky on April 26 and 28 respectively, a UN spokesman said Friday.

Guterres will visit Moscow on April 26 and have "a working meeting and lunch" with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres.

During his trip to Ukraine, Guterres will also have a working meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and meet with staff of UN agencies to discuss the scaling up of humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people, Dujarric said.

Turkey has been playing a mediator role to end the conflict between Russia and Ukraine as Ankara has close ties with both countries.

Previously, Lavrov and Kuleba met in a resort town of Turkey's southern province of Antalya on March 10, for the first high-level talks between Moscow and Kiev since the former launched a special military operation in Ukraine on Feb. 24.

The negotiation teams of Russia and Ukraine also had a face-to-face meeting in Istanbul on March 29.

Turkish authorities earlier expressed that Ankara welcomes the proposal of becoming a guarantor country in terms of the security of Ukraine.

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