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Turkish, British, Italian defence ministers to discuss Ukraine in İstanbul

An employee looks at destroyed building and car at the Yasnogorodka Ostrich Farm and the Family Ecopark in Yasnogorodka village, some 40 km from the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on April 2, 2022. At least 130 ostriches of 250 were killed and some of them scattered after Russian troops shelling of the favourite vacation spot of Kievans. Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP

The defense ministers of Turkey, Britain and Italy will meet in İstanbul on Friday to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and security ties between the three NATO allies, Reuters reported, citing the Turkish Defense Ministry.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini will visit İstanbul at the invitation of their Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar.

“At the meeting, where an exchange of views will be carried out on defense and security relations between the countries and on regional issues, developments in Ukraine are also expected to be discussed,” the statement said.

NATO member Turkey shares a maritime border with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea, has good ties with both and has taken a mediating role in the conflict. It has so far hosted peace talks between Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers and negotiators, and has been working to arrange a meeting of their presidents.

Turkey and Italy have also increased engagement since a NATO summit last month, where the leaders of Turkey, Italy and France discussed ways to revive the SAMP-T air defense system project by the Franco-Italian Eurosam consortium.

On Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said he had discussed the TF-X fighter jet project with his British counterpart, Liz Truss, at a NATO meeting in Brussels. The project has been stalled due to issues with Rolls Royce over the engines.

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