Erdogan welcomes return of Ukrainian sailors from Libya to Ukraine, promises further assistance
President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed the return home of four Ukrainian sailors detained in Libya and promised that Ukraine and Turkey will continue to cooperate on such issues.
"My treasured friend Volodymyr Zelensky, we are pleased that Ukrainian sailors have returned home safe and sound. Together, we will continue to struggle for all our friends, for all our brothers and sisters anywhere in the world," Erdogan wrote on his Twitter account in response to a tweet from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
As reported, on January 7, the press service of the President's Office reported that four Ukrainian citizens - members of the crew of the tanker Captain Khayyam, which was detained in the territorial waters of Libya on February 13, 2016, were returning to Ukraine. Sailors Yevhen Morar, Volodymyr Tostohan, Oleh Voynerovsky and Pavlo Chaika are already on their way home.
In December 2017, a Libyan court sentenced four Ukrainians and other crew members of the tanker Captain Khayyam to five years in prison.
As two Ukrainian sailors have health problems, representatives of Ukraine have repeatedly raised the issue of their release for humanitarian reasons in negotiations with the Libyan party.
President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the release of Ukrainian citizens and noted that they would finally be able to celebrate Christmas with their relatives and friends. Zelensky also separately expressed gratitude to Erdogan on the social network for his help in the evacuation of Ukrainian sailors.