At a news conference in Ankara with his British counterpart Liz Truss, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stresses that his country is trying to solve the grain issue with Russia and Ukraine.

Cavusoglu has also hailed Türkiye ties with its strategic partner, the UK.
Cavusoglu has also hailed Türkiye ties with its strategic partner, the UK. (AA)

A "control centre" will be established for a grain corridor if Russian and Ukrainian sides reach an agreement in a meeting soon to be held in Istanbul, the Turkish foreign minister has said.

"If an agreement is signed in Istanbul, then there would be a control centre — to be established as a safe zone out of the Ukrainian territorial waters...," Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday, speaking at a news conference in Ankara with his British counterpart Liz Truss.

Supporting UN efforts, Cavusoglu also said Türkiye is trying to solve the grain issue with Russia and Ukraine.

On allegations regarding stolen grains from Ukraine, he stressed that Türkiye has investigated the country of origin of all mentioned products and that they were labeled Russian.

Türkiye is against the illegal buying and selling of Ukrainian grain by any country, including but not limited to Russia.

On relations with the UK, Cavusoglu said Türkiye is in "close dialogue" with its "strategic partner". "The UK has become our third-biggest trade partner," he said, adding that they are working to expand the scope of a free trade agreement.

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Fight against terrorism

The Turkish minister further commented on cooperation in fighting terrorism, saying the UK is Türkiye's ally and that London recognises the PKK as a terrorist organisation.

During the meeting, Cavusoglu said, he had requested his British counterpart about extraditions, and seizures of assets of terror-linked individuals.

He also called on Sweden and Finland to meet certain conditions related to the security of NATO if they seek to join the alliance, noting: "As Türkiye, our expectations are crystal clear."

For her part, Truss said that at a "time when security, sovereignty, and self-determination are under threat, the United Kingdom's longstanding alliance" with Türkiye is "more important than ever."

"Türkiye is a key strategic partner of the UK," she added, while adding that the UK aims to work more closely with Ankara in the energy field.

She also said that the UK and Türkiye work together to get the grain out of Ukraine.

Hailing Türkiye's "leading role" in opening a grain export corridor from Ukraine, Truss stressed the urgency of the grain crisis, adding that it will have "devastating consequences" if not solved within the next month.

Tons of Ukrainian grain remain stuck due to Russia's assault on Ukraine, causing global shortages and price hikes.

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Source: AA