Türkiye proposed Ukraine-Russia a humanitarian corridor through Istanbul - M5 Dergi
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Türkiye proposed Ukraine-Russia a humanitarian corridor through Istanbul

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The Turkish ombudsman Şeref Malkoç has asked his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts to convince their leadership for the establishment of a humanitarian corridor for the wounded soldiers as well as civilians strapped in the battlefield through the Turkish mediation, daily Hürriyet reported on Jan. 16.

Malkoç proposed the “humanitarian corridor” be opened through Istanbul, and President Recep Erdoğan is expected to discuss the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky in the upcoming period.

Türkiye’s Ombudsman Institution received a request from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) three months ago to act as a mediator for unaccompanied children in the war between Russia and Ukraine, the daily reported.

Turkish Ombudsman Malkoç first contacted Russian and then Ukrainian ombudsmen and made a proposal that includes finding orphan children and their mutual exchange. The ombudsmen of Russia and Ukraine initially welcomed this proposal and discussed the issue with their own country administrations. However, due to the war conditions and ever-changing balances, the ombudsman of both countries delayed the process, but following an ease of in the administrations of the two countries and the moderate atmosphere in the public opinion, an agreement was reached for the meeting of their ombudsmen in Türkiye.

Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets and Russian Ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova met on the sidelines of the International Ombudsman Conference in Ankara last week.

So far, eight meetings were hosted through the initiative of Ankara, and the parties agreed on a three-stage plan, while Ukraine presented a swap list for 800 people and Russia for 200, the daily reported.

Four of the meetings were held in the form of tripartite meetings with participation of Malkoç, and four others were bilateral meetings between the ombudsman of Russia and Ukraine. They agreed to not only reunite unaccompanied children with their families, but also to establish a “humanitarian corridor” in a wider framework. A three-phase plan was agreed upon. They also agreed for prisoner swap of nearly 40 people, most of which included the civilian-military wounded.

Malkoç told daily Hürriyet that the parties will continue online meetings on the issue.

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