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US values Türkiye's role in alleviating effect of war on Ukraine

Senior American diplomat Yuri Kim expressed appreciation for Turkey's efforts in mitigating the suffering caused by Russia's aggression in Ukraine. Kim highlighted Turkey's role as a key NATO member and commended President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's personal initiatives, including the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which unfortunately collapsed due to lack of reciprocity from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Agencies and A News DIPLOMACY
Published February 20,2024

The US appreciates Türkiye's role in alleviating the suffering and effects of Russia's aggression on Ukrainians, a senior American diplomat said Tuesday.

"We very much value the role that Türkiye plays," Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs Yuri Kim told reporters during a telephone call to reporters.

"As you know Türkiye is a key member of NATO. And for us, the bond that we have as NATO is the most important thing. We need to stay united," Kim said when asked by Anadolu about Türkiye's mediation efforts between Russia and Ukraine

"We welcome the efforts that (Turkish) President (Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan personally has made to try to address some of the biggest problems arising from the war as well as the war itself," she said, specifically noting the Black Sea Grain Initiative in 2022 - 2023 that was co-negotiated and co-implemented by Türkiye and the UN, that unexpectedly collapsed.

"Very, very unfortunate that (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin has not reciprocated President Erdoğan's goodwill, and that grain initiative has now become defunct," she said.

"We appreciate also that President Erdoğan continues to seek other ways to alleviate the suffering and the impact of the war on the people of Ukraine," said Kim. "We know that he has a special place in his heart for the Tatar community in Crimea, and we hope that he will continue to coordinate closely with us, as NATO Allies address this historic threat to all allies."

Feb. 24 will mark the second year of the Russian "special military operation" in Ukraine. Erdoğan said last week that Ankara will "not abandon the pursuit of peace," noting that Ankara has achieved "tangible results for peace" from a prisoner exchange to the establishment of a grain corridor.

Kim said it becomes "even more urgent and as important as ever, to stand up to Putin's attempt to seize territory" as the world will mark the second year of the Russian offensive.

"It is incumbent upon the United States and our friends and allies, and others around the world who may not necessarily count themselves as friends or allies but who have to live in the world just as we do to recognize that this is a moment where decisive, clear action is necessary," she said. "If we are unable to respond in the way that we should, we are allowing space for a world that I think we would not want for our own children and for future generations."

Noting the need to step up with financial, military and humanitarian assistance, Kim said the US is "very pleased" to have seen the Europeans agree to €50 billion ($54 billion) in financial support for Ukraine until 2027.

"We are very much looking forward to the US Congress taking similarly wise, self-interested action, to defend America's leadership and to defend the kind of world we want to see in the future for our own children," she added.