Türkiye boosts diplomatic efforts to establish food corridor

Türkiye boosts diplomatic efforts to establish food corridor

Türkiye boosts diplomatic efforts to establish food corridor

Türkiye has seemingly accelerated its diplomatic efforts for making a food corridor from Ukraine to the world markets possible under a plan crafted by the United Nations. While a military delegation is holding talks with their Russian counterparts in Moscow, Türkiye will host defense and foreign secretaries of the United Kingdom on June 23 in the Turkish capital.

With concerns over a food crisis, especially in the underdeveloped nations, are growing due to the blockage of the export of millions of tons of grains in the Ukrainian ports and silos, Türkiye and the U.N. reiterate their efforts for overcoming the crisis.

In this regard, according to sources, a Turkish military delegation went to Moscow on June 21 and held talks with their Russian counterparts on June 22. Sources stressed that talks which focused on efforts to resume the commercial maritime navigation from the Ukrainian ports were “constructive and positive.”

The parties have mutually developed an understanding for holding talks with the participation of Türkiye, Russia, Ukraine and the U.N. in the coming weeks. As a result of Turkish-Russian talks, a Turkish commercial vessel departed from the Mariupol port of Ukraine, which is now under Russian occupation.

The talks followed a phone conversation between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres earlier in the week in a bid to coordinate ongoing efforts to create a secure passage for the vessels carrying grain and other products to the world markets. Erdoğan spoke on the matter with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the phone late June 22 in which the two men addressed the concerns over a potential food crisis in the world.

President Erdoğan stressed that a solution must definitely be found for the export of grain from Ukraine, read a statement issued by the office of the president. They have also discussed the developments with regard to Russia’s war in Ukraine and the upcoming NATO summit in Madrid.

In addition, to the phone conversation between the two leaders, Ankara and London will hold high-level in person meetings on June 23 in the Turkish capital. British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Defense Secretary Ben Wallace will hold separate talks in Ankara with their counterparts, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.

“Bilateral relations as well as current regional and international issues will be discussed at the meetings,” read a statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Truss’ visit to Ankara.

The visits of the two secretaries were planned separately, according to sources, and both will focus on the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the efforts to find a solution for a food corridor in the Black Sea as well as the agenda of the NATO leaders’ summit on June 28 and 30 in Madrid.

The British government supports Türkiye’s efforts to establish a secure grain corridor under a plan by the U.N. Türkiye has been in close dialogue with both Ukraine and Russia for the transport of around 25 million tons of grains in the silos and in the cargo vessels in the Odesa port.

The ships cannot sail into the Black Sea because of the mines planted by the Ukrainian forces around the Odesa port against a potential Russian offensive. The initial plan was to de-mine the region but Ukraine objects to the idea because of the continued Russian threat.

The parties are now discussing whether a secure passage for the vessels escorted by Turkish warships could be provided. These talks involve military experts from the relevant parties as well.

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