Erdoğan due to attend two summits
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to attend a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Samarkand on Sept. 15-16, and later visit New York for the U.N. General Assembly slated to take place between Sept. 17 and 22.
Erdoğan will also have a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the SCO summit.
Russia should also be able to start grain exports as Ukraine does from its ports following a deal, Erdoğan said on Sept. 8, noting that he will discuss this issue with the Russian leader in Samarkand.
Putin was uncomfortable with the grain shipment to the countries which imposed sanctions on Russia due to the Ukrainian war, Erdoğan said, emphasizing that Türkiye also wants the shipment of Russian grain to start so that these products would be delivered to the poor countries as well.
Russia and Ukraine signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.N. and Türkiye on July 22 for the resumption of grain export from Ukraine, a major grain exporter, to avoid a food crisis in the world. The operation started on Aug. 1 following the deployment of Ukrainian and Russian officials to the Joint Coordination Center (JCC), along with Turkish and U.N. authorities.
The deal signed by Russia and Ukraine will be valid for 120 days and can be renewed if the parties do not oppose its prolongation. Ukraine is planning to export around 25 million tons of grain to the world by the end of this year.
Russia is also hoping to export its food and fertilizers to the world under certain guarantees provided by the U.N. However, due to the concerns over the shipment, banking and insurance companies, the Russian exports have not yet started.
Following his visit to Uzbekistan, Erdoğan will travel to New York. The president is expected to make a speech at the General Assembly on Sept. 20. In his address, Erdoğan is expected to stress the importance of the fight against terrorism, comment on the Ukrainian-Russian war and the necessity of reforming the U.N., as well as issues such as Syria and refugee problem, the issue of eastern Mediterranean, Aegean and Palestine and climate change problem.
Erdoğan recently expressed the possibility of having a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the General Assembly.
The president on Sept. 8 said he would tell U.S. President Joe Biden about Türkiye’s unease with the new American military bases established in Greece recently if there would be an opportunity for a meeting.
Türkiye’s demand for F-16 jets and the U.S. support for the YPG group in Syria, which Ankara sees as the Syrian branch of the illegal PKK group, is expected to be on the agenda of Erdoğan if the meeting takes place.
Türkiye requested to buy 40 new F-16s and 79 modernization kits for its existing fleet after its participation in the F-35 project was ended due to Türkiye’s deployment of the S-400 air defense system from Russia.
Although Washington seems positive, the U.S. Congress recently adopted a bill obliging the White House to prove that the procurement will be in the U.S.’ interest and that these warplanes won’t be used to violate Greek airspace.