U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Monday, ahead of planned visits to Ukraine and Russia in efforts to end the Ukrainian conflict.
Neither Guterres nor Erdogan spoke to the media after their talks in the Turkish capital, but both issued statements. The U.N. chief's office recognized and praised Turkish efforts to end the conflict, while the Turkish presidency said it remained committed to end the fighting.
Erdogan has maintained good relations with both Ukrainian and Russian leaders and has sought to mediate the conflict.
Samuel Bendett, a Russia analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses' Russia Studies Program, a U.S. research organization, said Ankara has successfully carved out an important role.
"Turkey is a significant factor here because the Russian president is talking to the Turkish president, the Ukrainian president is talking to the Turkish president. So, Turkey is involved and is in the know, and it could be potentially an important mediator if both sides feel it is time for Turkey to step up into that role," Bendett said.
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