Recasts, Adds details and background from paragraphs 3 onwards

ANKARA, July 26 (Reuters)Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi discussed Ukraine with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara and met President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday during his first foreign trip since being appointed, a Turkish foreign ministry source said.

China , a veteran diplomat, as its new foreign minister on Tuesday, removing former rising star Qin Gang after a one-month absence from duties barely half a year into the job.

Discussions between Wang and Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan included the latest situation in Ukraine as well as the global financial system, the Turkish foreign ministry source said.

Russia has expanded its air campaign against Ukrainian grain targets in recent days after quitting a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey that had allowed the safe Black Sea export of Ukrainian grain for the past year.

The United States and several European countries have urged China to use its influence over Russia to seek an end to the war. Earlier this year, China published a 12-point peace plan, calling for the protection of civilians and the sovereignty of all countries be respected.

Fidan and Wang also discussed development of economic and trade relations between Turkey and China, the Turkish foreign ministry source said.

Their discussions included “harmonization of the initiatives of Belt and Road and Middle Corridor,” as well as nuclear energy, agriculture and civil aviation, the source added.

The two top diplomats discussed the situation of Uyghurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, during talks in Ankara, the source said.

Human rights groups accuse Beijing of abuses against Xinjiang’s Uyghur inhabitants, including the mass use of forced labour in internment camps. China denies the allegations.

(Reporting by Huseyin Hayatsever; Editing by Daren Butler, Andrew Heavens and Conor Humphries)

((daren.butler@tr.com; +90-212-350 7053; Reuters Messaging: daren.butler.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Source: Nasdaq

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