Turkey and the United States will coordinate their response to the war in Ukraine, says Ankara


The flags of Turkey and the United States are seen in this illustration taken August 25, 2018. Picture taken August 25, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration//File Photo

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ANKARA, March 5 (Reuters) – Turkey and the United States will remain in “close coordination” in their search for a diplomatic solution to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Turkish Foreign Ministry told Reuters on Saturday. of discussions between the Deputy Foreign Ministers of the NATO allies. .

Ties between Turkey and the United States have been strained over a host of issues in recent years, including Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems and policy differences in Syria and the eastern Mediterranean. Washington imposed sanctions on Ankara in December 2020 for the S-400s.

Turkey shares a maritime border with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea and enjoys good relations with both countries. Ankara called Russia’s aggression unacceptable, but also opposed sanctions against Moscow.

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In a statement after talks between Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal and US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman in Ankara, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said the allies “confirmed their support for the integrity territorial and sovereignty of Ukraine”.

“The importance of remaining in close coordination to manage the multifaceted impacts of the crisis and support a diplomatic solution was underscored,” he said in a statement, adding that the two also discussed bilateral relations.

“The common will to deepen bilateral cooperation through a long-lasting and institutionalized dialogue was confirmed, and it was underlined that, despite the ongoing disagreements on certain issues, Turkey and the United States have a program far-reaching positive,” he said.

In response to the Russian invasion, Turkey last month closed its Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits linking the Mediterranean and Black Seas to warships under a 1936 pact, limiting the passage of some Russian vessels.

However, Ankara also criticized the Western response to the attack, saying sanctions against Russia should be aimed at stopping the war.

While forging close ties with Russia in energy, defense and trade, Turkey has sold drones to kyiv, angering Moscow. Turkey, whose tourism sector relies heavily on Russian tourists, also opposes Moscow’s policies in Syria and Libya, as well as its 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Earlier, a spokesman for Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the president would urge his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to stop his invasion of Ukraine in a phone call on Sunday. Read more

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Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Christina Fincher

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