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Turkiye supports extending Black Sea grain deal, says defense minister

March 12, 2023 at 1:08 pm

Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar speaks to press after attending the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at the Ramstein Air Base in Rhineland-Palatinate, southwestern Germany on January 20, 2023. [Arif Akdoğan – Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye hopes that the Black Sea grain deal, which is set to expire on March 18, will be extended, the country’s defense minister said on Sunday, Anadolu reports.

“Both sides (Russia and Ukraine) have a positive attitude and we believe that it will be extended,” Hulusi Akar told Anadolu’s Editors’ Desk which gathered in the quake-hit southern Hatay province.

He reiterated Turkiye’s efforts to ensure that the landmark Istanbul deal continues to be implemented and said nearly 24 million tons of grain delivered to those in need via the deal.

Last July, Turkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February 2022.

Thanks to Turkish efforts, the grain deal was extended for another 120 days, starting on Nov. 19.

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