Erdoğan, Macron discuss Istanbul talks on Ukrainian grain exports

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday the establishment of a coordination center in Turkey for grain exports via the Black Sea, as well as bilateral relations and regional issues.

In a phone call with his French counterpart, Erdoğan told Macron that it had been decided to manage the Ukrainian grain export process from a coordination center to be established in Turkey’s largest city. , Istanbul, and will be made up of Turkish, Russian, Ukrainian and United Nations officials. , said the communication directorate of the presidency.

Turkey‘s president said the swift implementation of the plan will bring great relief in the context of global food security, the statement added.

Last Wednesday, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced shortly after Turkey held a four-party meeting that the coordination center for Ukrainian grain export should be set up in Istanbul.

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again in Turkey next week to review details and sign documents to formalize the deal, Akar said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also confirmed there was progress on the issue, thanking the UN and Turkey for their efforts.

The high-stakes meeting of UN, Russian, Ukrainian and Turkish officials in Istanbul broke down after just over three hours without participants speaking to the press. The Istanbul summit, which began around 4 p.m. local time, marks the first face-to-face talks between the Russian and Ukrainian governments since another meeting in the Turkish metropolis in late March.

Ukraine is a vital exporter of wheat and grains such as barley and corn. It also supplied nearly half of all sunflower oil traded on world markets.

But shipments across the Black Sea were blocked by Russian warships and mines that Kyiv laid to avoid a feared amphibious assault.

Turkey worked with the United Nations to broker a deal after Russia‘s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine boosted prices for grain, cooking oil, fuel and fertilizer.

Erdoğan also said that Turkey’s expectations for the SAMP-T long-range air defense system were “to ensure the launch of the supply project and to develop a joint system including maximum cooperation within the framework of the principle of ‘full transparency'”.

Earlier this year, Turkey’s joint production of a European missile was discussed when the Turkish president met with Italian and French leaders in Brussels earlier this week, according to Turkey’s top diplomat.

During NATO meetings in Brussels on the war in Ukraine, the Turkish president met with Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi “and the main problem was the Eurosam SAMP-T and the defense system”, said the Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the Doha Forum. Saturday.

Earlier this month, during a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Erdoğan said that Turkey and Italy were ready to sign an agreement as soon as possible on the SAMP air defense system project. -T.

Erdoğan and Macron also discussed bilateral relations as well as regional issues, according to the statement.

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