Turkish, French presidents discuss Istanbul talks on Ukraine grain exports

Baku, July 17, AZERTAC

The presidents of Türkiye and France discussed the decisions taken to facilitate Ukrainian grain exports at four-way talks held in Istanbul, the Turkish Communications Directorate said on Saturday, according to Anadolu Agency.

In a phone call, Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that during the Istanbul meeting it was agreed that the process regarding the export of the Ukrainian grain would be managed from a coordination center to be established in Istanbul and run by officials from Türkiye, Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations, the directorate said in a statement.

The Turkish president said that the early implementation of the plan will provide great relief in the context of the global food security, the statement added.

Last Wednesday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that a meeting between Turkish, Ukrainian, Russian, and UN officials agreed to establish a coordination center in Istanbul to facilitate Ukrainian grain exports.

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

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also confirmed that there was progress on the matter, thanking the UN and Türkiye for their efforts.

Erdogan and Macron also discussed bilateral relations as well as regional issues, the Turkish Communications Directorate said.

Erdogan also said that Türkiye’s expectation about the SAMP/T long-range air defense system was to “ensure the launch of the supply project and develop a joint system that included maximum cooperation within the framework of the principle of ‘full transparency’,” it said.

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

During NATO meetings in Brussels on the Ukraine war, the Turkish president met with his French counterpart Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi “and the main issue was the Eurosam SAMP/T and defense system,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told CNBC's Hadley Gamble at the Doha Forum on Saturday.

Earlier this month, speaking at a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Erdogan said Türkiye and Italy are willing to sign an agreement as soon as possible on the SAMP/T air defense system project.

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