Pope Francis expressed his gratitude to Türkiye, which has been working for peace, said Ankara's Vatican Ambassador Lutfullah Goktas.
Pope Francis has appreciated the Turkish president's efforts to reconcile Ukraine and Russia, Türkiye's envoy to the Vatican Lutfullah Goktas has said.
"The Pope expressed his gratitude to Türkiye, which has been in contact with both sides since the beginning of the conflict and has been working for peace," Ambassador Lutfullah Goktas said on Twitter on Sunday, recounting his meeting with Francis to discuss Russia's offensive against Ukraine.
Saying of their meeting that a "solution can only be found through diplomacy and negotiations, not thru war," Goktas added: "The only possible way to establish a ceasefire and begin negotiations is through diplomacy."
Gokas also told the pontiff about Türkiye's diplomatic initiatives and humanitarian assistance efforts, stressing that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "is still trying to reconcile" Russia and Ukraine.
The agenda when the spiritual leader of Catholics, Pope Francis (@Pontifex) received me, was the Ukraine-Russia war. The Pope expressed his gratitude to Turkey, which has been in contact with both sides since the beginning of the conflict and has been working for peace.— Lutfullah Goktas (@lutfullahgoktas) May 29, 2022
'Sharing same sensitivities'
Goktas also noted that Türkiye "attaches great importance to (the) Pope's calls for peace to the sides."
"I was extremely pleased to observe that the Pope, who has been closely following our President's reconciliation efforts, is also sharing the same sensitivities with our country," he added.
Goktas also told Francis about Türkiye's fight against terror groups "for years for its national security," and said the country expects its allies "to display the same determination."
Like the Holy See, Türkiye wants the wars and human tragedies to come to an end, he noted.
The first and the latest high-level meeting of the Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers, Dmytro Kuleba and Sergey Lavrov, took place on March 10 on the sidelines of Türkiye's Antalya Diplomacy Forum, while on March 29, negotiators from both countries met in Istanbul.
Turkish President Erdogan has had multiple phone calls with his Ukrainian and Russian counterparts to find a way to end the conflict since then.