Turkey's FM due to visit Ukraine

Maintaining peace in Black Sea is difficult unless it is secured in Crimea, Davutoglu says

Maintaining peace in Black Sea is difficult unless it is secured in Crimea, Davutoglu says

PLOVDIV, Bulgaria - Turkey`s Foreign Minister will pay an official visit to Ukraine on Saturday amid the ongoing crisis in the country.

"Ukraine is a Turkish ally and one of the most important countries in terms of stability in Eurasia," Ahmet Davutoglu told journalists Friday during his Bulgaria visit, noting his phone conversation with Ukraine`s newly-appointed Foreign Minister, Andriy Deshchytsya, in the morning.

"Crimea is important in Ukraine due to its strategic location, multi-ethnic and multi-faith formation. It is difficult to maintain peace in Eurasia unless it is secured in Ukraine. Likewise, maintaining peace in the Black Sea is difficult unless it is secured in Crimea," he added.

The political situation in Crimea has been tense since Ukraine was hit by large-scale protests that eventually led to the ousting of president Viktor Yanukovych, who fled Kiev last week.

Nearly 50 armed men seized Friday the airport in Simferopol, the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, where several dozen armed men had seized the parliament building on Thursday.

Davutoglu said he had spoken with Poland`s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and would continue telephone diplomacy as Turkey closely follows developments in Crimea.

"Crimea is also a significant region for relations between Russia and Turkey. Therefore, it is crucial to find a peaceful solution in Crimea... by protecting its autonomy and territorial integrity," he added.

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