As he convened discussions in Istanbul on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan encouraged Russian and Ukrainian delegates to “put an end to this tragedy”.

The face-to-face discussions at Istanbul’s Dolmabahce palace are intended at putting an end to a war that has killed an estimated 20,000 people and displaced more than 10 million people.

The two delegations, who arrived in Turkey on Monday, met for the first time following numerous rounds of videoconference conversations.

“Both parties have valid concerns, and a solution acceptable to the international community is feasible,” Erdogan added, AFP reports.

“It is up to the two parties to bring this tragedy to a close,” he insisted, adding that “the conflict’s continuance is in no one’s interest.”

On March 10, the Turkish city of Antalya hosted the first meeting between Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers since Ukraine’s invasion last month.

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