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Published: 11:33, April 25, 2022 | Updated: 14:07, April 25, 2022
UN chief to visit Turkey before having talks in Russia, Ukraine
By Xinhua
Published:11:33, April 25, 2022 Updated:14:07, April 25, 2022 By Xinhua

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during an interview at the UN headquarters, Jan 20, 2022, in New York.  (ROBERT BUMSTED / FILE / AP)

ANKARA / ISTANBUL / KIEV - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will pay a visit to Turkey on Monday before having talks in Moscow and Kiev as part of efforts to resolve the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The secretary-general will have a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the capital Ankara, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

UN Secretary general Antonio Guterres will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on April 26 and 28, respectively

Guterres will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on April 26 and 28 respectively, a UN spokesman said Friday.

Guterres will visit Moscow on April 26 and have "a working meeting and lunch" with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres.

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During his trip to Ukraine, Guterres will also have a working meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and meet with staff of UN agencies to discuss the scaling up of humanitarian assistance to Ukrainian people, Dujarric said.

Turkey has been playing a mediator role to end the conflict between Russia and Ukraine as Ankara has close ties with both countries. In March, Turkey hosted foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia, as well as a meeting between the negotiation teams of the two countries. 

Also on Sunday, Erdogan and Zelensky discussed the latest developments of the Ukraine crisis over the phone.

According to a statement by the Turkish presidential office, Erdogan said that the evacuation of the wounded and civilians from Ukraine's Mariupol, "where the situation is getting sad(der) each day," must be urgently ensured.

READ MORE: Russia begins 2nd phase of military operation in Ukraine

Zelensky tweeted that he stressed the need for the immediate evacuation of civilians from Mariupol, including Azovstal plant, and an immediate exchange of blocked troops.

The two presidents also addressed issues related to the negotiation process between Russia and Ukraine.

Erdogan said that Turkey has a positive stance on the guarantor issue in principle, and that his country is ready to provide all possible assistance for the negotiation process, the Turkish presidential office said.

Following a fresh round of face-to-face talks between Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul in March, Ukrainian negotiators named several countries, including Turkey, which could act as guarantors. 

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