Türkiye wants continuation of Black Sea grain deal - defense minister
Ankara wants the continuation of the Black Sea grain deal, which is set to expire next week, Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Thursday, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.
"Our wish is the extension of the grain agreement," Akar said at the distinguished observer day of the Anatolian-Eagle 2023 military exercise in the central Konya province.
The deputy defense ministers of Türkiye, Russia, Ukraine and also UN officials on Wednesday met in Istanbul to discuss the deal, Akar said, adding that the talks continued on Thursday as well.
Akar added that so far, more than 30 million tons of grain were transported to those in need under the deal, which is set to expire on May 18.
Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul last July to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which were halted after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February 2022.
A Joint Coordination Center with officials from the three countries and the UN was set up in Istanbul to oversee the shipments.