RUSSIA: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday launched efforts to promptly explore arrangements for a humanitarian ceasefire in Ukraine to allow delivery of aid and also pave the way for serious political talks to end the war in the country, which has been going on for more than a month. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine
by Russia on February 24, the UN’s humanitarian agencies and their partners have provided food, shelter, water and hygiene supplies to nearly 900,000 people, mainly in eastern Ukraine, Guterres said, according to the Associated Press.
He said that there has been “a senseless loss of thousands of lives, displacement of 10 million people and systematic destruction of homes, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure”.
Guterres pointed out that “the solution to the humanitarian tragedy is not humanitarian — it is political.” “I am therefore appealing for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire to allow for progress in serious political negotiations, aimed at reaching a peace agreement,” Guterres further said.
The UN secretary-general has asked undersecretary-General Martin Griffiths to explore the possibility of the cease-fire, AP also reported. “I hope that he (Griffiths) will be able to go to both Moscow and Kyiv as soon as that becomes possible. It’s very important to establish a serious dialogue with both parties in relation to the possibility of this humanitarian cease-fire,” Antonio Guterres said on Monday.
Meanwhile, Russian and Ukrainian negotiators began face-to-face talks in Istanbul on Tuesday, the official Turkish news agency said, with host Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urging them to “put an end to this tragedy”.
The face-to-face talks at the Dolmabahce palace in Istanbul are aimed at trying to end the war that has killed an estimated 20,000 people and forced more than 10 million from their homes.
“The two parties have legitimate concerns. It’s possible to reach a solution acceptable to the international community,” President Erdogan said. “It’s up to the two parties to put an end to this tragedy,” he insisted, adding that the “extension of the conflict is in no one’s interest”. “The whole world is waiting for good news from you,” he continued.- NDTV