Erdoğan: Ukraine deserves NATO membership

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stressed that Ukraine undoubtedly deserves membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

This came in a press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, in Istanbul, on Friday, after a bilateral meeting and another between the delegations.

Erdoğan stressed that Türkiye is the country making the most efforts to end the Russian-Ukrainian war through negotiations in accordance with the foundations of international law.

Erdoğan pledged to provide all forms of support for Ukraine to rise again.

The Turkish president wished to extend the grain corridor agreement across the Black Sea.

Erdoğan said Ankara was making efforts to extend the agreement to transport grain across the Black Sea for longer periods after it expired on July 17.

“We’re working on how to extend the agreement after July 17… Hopefully, it will be extended at least once every three months, not every two months… We will make efforts in this regard, and we will try to extend it to two years,” he added.

Erdoğan revealed an upcoming visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Türkiye next month, adding, “During that, we will have the opportunity to discuss the exchange of prisoners between Russia and Ukraine face to face again”.

Zelensky said that his country wants to implement the peace plan, and that Türkiye is ready to assume a leadership role in this regard.

The Ukrainian president added, “I am here in Istanbul to thank everyone who wants peace for our country and our peoples”.

Zelensky expressed his gratitude for the firm Turkish support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, and thanked his Turkish counterpart for his support for the grain corridor agreement across the Black Sea.

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