ISTANBUL — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed the importance of Turkey’s role in ending the war in Ukraine in a phone call with U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday, state-run Anadolu Agency said.
In a 45-minute call, Erdogan said it was important for Turkey to be a “facilitator in the search for a solution in case the crisis deepens,” Anadolu reported. He described a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba held earlier near the Turkish city of Antalya as “a victory for diplomacy.”
The meeting was chaired by the Turkish foreign minister after Turkey lobbied to act as a mediator between the warring countries. It failed to produce any concrete results.
Erdogan also asked Biden to lift “unfair” sanctions on Turkey, Anadolu said. Sanctions on leading defense industry figures were imposed after Ankara acquired a Russian-made air defense system in 2019. Turkey was also kicked off the F-35 fighter program.