Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed Türkiye’s continued efforts to end the Ukraine crisis and emphasised that the entire world needs food items coming from Ukraine and Russia. .
Türkiye’s foreign minister has stressed that the landmark Ukrainian grain deal signed in Istanbul has to be "sustainable" and could be the basis for a "comprehensive cease-fire" to end the Ukraine conflict.
"It has to be sustainable, and the duration of this agreement is for four months,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a joint press conference with his Malaysian counterpart Saifuddin Abdullah in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
A day after the first grain ship to have left Ukraine was cleared in Istanbul for its onward journey, Cavusoglu said the grain export deal would be extended if there are no objections.
Cavusoglu added that if the deal was extended, then "Russia will also be able to export its own grain and related products as well as fertilizers". He emphasised that the entire world needs these goods coming from Ukraine and Russia.
The halt of deliveries has contributed to soaring food prices, hitting the world's poorest nations especially hard.
'Everybody must act responsibly'
Türkiye, the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine signed the deal on July 22 to reopen three Ukrainian ports — Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny — for grain that has been stuck for months due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine fighting, which is now into its sixth month.
The grain deal “has to be sustainable, and everybody must act responsibly and stand by their commitments to continue this flow. And I have to tell you that the situation is fragile, because the war in Ukraine continues," Cavusoglu reiterated.
Expressing Türkiye's hope for the deal to be "the basis for a comprehensive cease-fire, peace plan and lasting peace" in the region, he stressed his country's continued efforts to end the Ukraine crisis and noted the "need to support the international community to end the war."
Cavusoglu's remarks came a day after the first grain-laden ship to leave Ukraine since the conflict passed an inspection in Istanbul for an onward journey to Lebanon. The inspection by a team from the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul lasted over an hour.
The Razoni, carrying over 26,500 tonnes of corn to Lebanon, anchored off the Turkish coast near the Black Sea entrance of the Istanbul Strait on Tuesday night. The Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship departed from the Ukrainian port of Odessa on Monday.
On Thursday, Cavusoglu also discussed the deal with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken over the phone.cThe two also spoke about bilateral ties, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.