The United States expressed appreciation for Turkey’s efforts to allow Ukrainian agricultural products to reach world markets through the Black Sea.
The issue was raised during a telephone conversation between US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in late June, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Turkish ministry said the two men discussed bilateral relations, NATO enlargement and the export of grain from Ukraine.
“Thank you to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu for today’s productive appeal. The United States is committed to close coordination on support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression and calls for NATO unity ahead of Madrid summit,” Blinken tweeted.
Ned Price, the spokesperson for the US State Department, pointed out in a separate statement that Blinken and Çavuşoğlu had discussed the importance of NATO unity in the run-up to the NATO summit on 29 and June 30 in Madrid.
“They also discussed continued support for Ukraine in the face of continued Russian aggression. The Secretary expressed his appreciation for the Foreign Minister’s diplomatic efforts to enable Ukrainian agricultural exports to reach world markets,” Price said.
Turkey has been actively trying for a long time to create a workable plan with the UN to enable Ukraine to export its millions of tons of grain and other products through a safe Black Sea passage to world markets. This export is of vital importance to avoid a major food crisis in the world, mainly in underdeveloped countries because they depend on imported cereals. Ukraine is one of the largest grain producers in the world.
The plan aims to establish a command and control center in Istanbul following talks between officials from Türkiye, Russia, Ukraine and the UN.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar recently informed that there is a general consensus among the parties concerned to establish an operations center in Istanbul and open a corridor that will allow Ukrainian grain to reach world markets.
Türkiye took on the role of facilitator, he said, adding: “Turkey is currently doing its part in this regard. The parties have serious confidence in our country. We try to use this trust in the most sensitive way without any blemish, and the parties are aware of this.