Ankara has taken a 'clear stance' since beginning of crisis in Ukraine, says Turkish president, calling for common sense to prevail and holding dialogue on every occasion.
The Turkish president has stressed on the necessity of continuing diplomatic efforts to end Russia-Ukraine conflict.
"We are aware of the difficulties of the conditions (Russia-Ukraine conflict), but we will continue our sincere efforts, acknowledging that diplomacy is the only way out," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a joint news conference on Tuesday with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Ankara.
Erdogan said Türkiye has taken a "clear stance" since the very beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, calling for common sense to prevail and holding dialogue on every occasion.
He later voiced hopes that the NATO military alliance will play a key role toward a world dominated by peace.
Ahead of the NATO's extraordinary leaders' summit later this week, Erdogan called on members "to show solidarity, and be together when it comes to the defence industry."
On relations with the Netherlands, Erdogan said the two countries "have common will to improve cooperation as NATO allies."
Dutch PM Rutte after talks with Turkish President Erdogan:— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) March 22, 2022
- Türkiye has enormous political, military importance for NATO
- We both condemn Russia's invasion
- Ankara playing key diplomatic role in ending war pic.twitter.com/UeeMWEshgD
Rutte appreciates Turkish role in NATO
For his part, Rutte hailed Türkiye's role in NATO, saying it "carries enormous political and military importance for the alliance."
On a question regarding Türkiye not applying the same sanctions as EU over Russia's military campaign in Ukraine, Rutte said Ankara is "implementing the UN sanctions" as he drew attention to the country's "special position" on the world map.
"We also have to be happy with the fact that Türkiye is playing its diplomatic role and its leadership role in trying to end the conflict," he added.
READ MORE: Ukraine urges Türkiye to be one of guarantors of ceasefire deal with Russia
Enhancing bilateral relations
Erdogan announced that Türkiye will host the 9th bilateral Wittenburg Conference this May, which is being organised since a 2008 agreement "aiming at ensuring the enhancement of bilateral relations and cooperation."
The last conference was held on January 27, 2021 via video conference.
Commenting on relations with the European Union, the Turkish leader said: "We expect the EU to urgently open the membership negotiation chapters and initiate negotiations on the Customs Union, without capitulating its vicious interests."
READ MORE: Russia and Ukraine nearing agreement on critical issues: Cavusoglu