Ankara works hard to extend grain deal: FM

Ankara works hard to extend grain deal: FM

Ankara works hard to extend grain deal: FM

The Turkish government is working for the extension of the grain deal that allows Ukraine to export its food products through a safe corridor in line with a July 2022 agreement between Türkiye, U.N., Ukraine and Russia. The deal will expire on March 18.

“We are working hard for the smooth implementation and further extension of the Black Sea grain deal,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in a speech at the United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries in Doha on March 5. He represented Türkiye at the meeting on behalf of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The Turkish foreign minister said he discussed the extension efforts with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres. He also held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in New Delhi on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministerial meetings.

Türkiye and the U.N. had initiated the grain deal in the first months of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which resulted in a well-tailored agreement for the shipment of grain and other products to the world from the two warring countries that produce around more than 60 percent of these products. The deal was extended in late November for another four months. The operation is controlled and coordinated through a center based in Istanbul.

Around 20 million tons of Ukrainian products have been shipped through the corridor and works continue for the resumption of the Russian exports as well. Although exempted from sanctions, the Russian agricultural products cannot be exported due to problems of payment and insurance.

Çavuşoğlu recalled that hunger is still one of the world’s major problems in the 21st century and described it as shameful for humanity. “We cannot leave the least developed countries behind. We should act without delay. First is about food security. It is a shame that hunger is not defeated in the 21st century. Reforms are needed in the global economic and financial systems,” he stated.

The world should also find ways to fight global climate change as the least developed countries suffer most from this global phenomenon despite the fact they are the ones who pollute less, the minister stated.

FM praises world’s help after the earthquakes

Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu also thanked the international community over their massive assistance to Türkiye following two major earthquakes on Feb. 6 that killed more than 45.000 people.

“The least developed countries were the first ones that offered support and showed solidarity in our darkest day. We know it was a huge sacrifice. The Turkish people will never forget it,” he stated. “Your brothers in Türkiye do thank you.”