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Erdogan deserves nomination for Nobel Peace Prize, says former US official

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Kayseri, Turkiye on 23 July 2022 [Mustafa Kamacı/Anadolu Agency]
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Kayseri, Turkiye on 23 July 2022 [Mustafa Kamacı/Anadolu Agency]

A former US official said on Sunday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan deserves to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, Anadolu has reported. Dov S. Zakheim cited the president's efforts on the Ukrainian grain export deal to support his suggestion.

The former US Under-Secretary of Defence said that Erdogan achieved a "triumph" when he mediated a deal between warring Russia and Ukraine on exporting Ukrainian grain.

"His authoritarian domestic policies render it unlikely that the liberal Norwegian Nobel Committee would give him much in the way of consideration, but surely Erdogan deserves at least to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize," wrote Zakheim on the political website The Hill. "Despite his conducting what appears to be a most confusing foreign policy — and maybe in some respects, because of it — Erdogan, working alongside the United Nations, was able to broker a deal between Russia and Ukraine that would allow the shipment of grain from Ukrainian ports through the Black Sea."

He noted that 22 million tons of grain had not moved due to a Russian blockade and that there were disagreements between Moscow and Kyiv about the clearing of mines in the Black Sea. "As a result of the impasse, international food prices skyrocketed and millions were threatened with starvation, creating the prospect of another mass migration to Europe." The deal will allow Moscow to export food and fertilisers. "The agreement is literally a lifesaver."

Turkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine signed a deal last week in Istanbul to reopen three Ukrainian ports — Odessa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhne — for grain exports stuck for months because of the Russia-Ukraine war. A Joint Coordination Centre was established under the terms of the deal to carry out inspections at the entrances and exits of harbours and to ensure the safety of the routes.

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