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Qatar welcomes Turkey’s mediation between Russia and Ukraine – Doha News


As the war persists, the civilian casualties in Ukraine have continued to rise.

Qatar has welcomed Turkey’s mediation between Russia in Ukraine on Wednesday in a bid to end the war that has been taking place for more than a month.

Turkey has been holding talks with senior Russian and Ukrainian officials since Moscow began its invasion of Kyiv on 24 February.

The two countries held their first face-to-face talks in more than two weeks in Istanbul this week and they are set to virtually resume their peace talks on Friday, as Reuters reported.

Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has expressed its hope that the talks “in Istanbul would achieve a comprehensive and lasting peace agreement between the two countries”.

MOFA has also renewed Qatar’s call to all side t”o exercise restraint” and resolve the war through diplomatic means.

Speaking to Doha News earlier this month, Turkey’s Ambassador to Qatar Mustafa Göksu said that his country is committed to finding a political resolution.

“Unfortunately, these events affect us and our policy is finding a diplomatic solution as soon as possible,” said Göksu.

Turkey, a NATO member, shares a maritime border with both Moscow and Kyiv and had blocked the passage of warships through the Turkish straits to the Black Sea.

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Before the invasion, Turkey said that it will continue its arms sales to Ukraine. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara’s deals with Kyiv do not aim to target Russia.

Both Qatar and Turkey joined 141 countries in voting on a UN resolution demanding Russia’s “immediate and complete” withdrawal from Ukraine in March.

Turkey also criticised Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Previous talks in Turkey led to no progress as the Russian aggression on Ukraine continues to take place.

During the recent in-person discussions, the Ukrainian delegation had reportedly presented a framework under which it would step back from joining NATO, per reports by the Associated Press (AP). This would come in exchange for security guarantees from other countries.

As the war persists, the civilian casualties in Ukraine have continued to rise.

Between 24 February and 29 March, the UN has recorded 3,090 civilian casualties. Out of the total reported, 1,189 people, including 108 children, have been killed, mostly through shelling and airstrikes.

The reported casualties is feared to be higher.

The country has also been in need of aid due to the destruction caused by Russia’s military operations. The White House had pledged an additional $500 million in direct aid to Ukraine.

Since the beginning of the invasion, the US Joe Biden administration had provided Kyiv with almost $2 billion in humanitarian and security assistance, as part of the $13.6 billion that Congress approved earlier this month.

The total number of refugees fleeing to neighbouring countries has also reached at least four million, as another 6.5 million people have been internally displaced.

Whilst Russia said that it started withdrawing its forces from Kyiv, the US has doubted those claims, saying Moscow could be repositioning its personnel in another area.

“Has there been some movement by some Russian units away from Kyiv in the last day or so? Yeah. We think so. Small numbers,” said Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby on Tuesday.

Kirby noted that the complete withdrawal of all Russian forces is the main indicator of its commitments to end the war.

“We hope that they’ll do that. But the war could end today if Mr. [Vladimir] Putin did the right thing and actually did withdraw all his forces from Ukraine and respect Ukrainian sovereignty,” he said.


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