Türkiye played key role in Black Sea grain deal extension: NATO chief


 ANKARA NOV 21, 2022 – daily sabah

Cargo ship Asl Tia, carrying Ukranian grain, sails through the Bosporus Strait, in Istanbul, Türkiye, Nov., 2, 2022. (EPA Photo)

Cargo ship Asl Tia, carrying Ukranian grain, sails through the Bosporus Strait, in Istanbul, Türkiye, Nov., 2, 2022. (EPA Photo)

The NATO chief on Monday reiterated the importance of the Black Sea grain deal, saying Ankara and the Turkish president played a key role in its extension and the prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine.

Speaking at a Q&A session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Madrid, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the grain deal has proved how it is important for global food security.

“This is important for food prices, especially for poor countries of the world. So the grain deal has proven extremely important and must ensure that it continues,” he said.

Lauding Türkiye over its efforts for the grain deal, Stoltenberg also pointed out the successful prisoner swaps between Moscow and Kyiv that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan facilitated.

“Also the agreement to exchange of prisoners of war was something that Türkiye and President Erdogan facilitated and of course also much welcomed by allies,” he added.

On Thursday, days before its scheduled expiration, the landmark grain deal signed in Istanbul in July by Türkiye, the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine was extended for another 120 days, beginning Nov. 19.

On the tripartite agreement between Türkiye, Sweden and Finland over the NATO accession of the two Nordic countries, Stoltenberg recalled that all allies signed the accession protocol of their NATO bids and 28 allies out of 30 members have so far ratified the bid.

The accession process of Finland and Sweden continues very fast, which has never happened before, he further said.

It is now time to see the two countries as NATO members, added Stoltenberg.

He also pointed to Türkiye’s security concerns and reiterated that no other NATO ally suffered more terrorist attacks than Türkiye.

The NATO chief once again condemned last Sunday’s terrorist attack on Istanbul’s crowded Istiklal Street that killed six people and left 81 injured.

He also underscored the importance of maintaining support for Ukraine against Russia, saying that everyone has seen how Russia has “weaponized energy.”

Russian capacity should not be underestimated, he added.

“We welcome that China has so far not provided any military support to Russia,” said Stoltenberg, adding that it is important as “no one should support Russia.”

source https://www.dailysabah.com/business/economy/turkiye-played-key-role-in-black-sea-grain-deal-extension-nato-chief

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