Erdogan confirms grain deal extended for another 120 days

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Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he speaks during a press conference on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders' Summit at Nusa Dua in Bali, Indonesia on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed on Thursday that the grain deal signed in Istanbul in July would be extended for 120 days.

“Following the decision made by the UN, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine, the agreement on the Black Sea corridor will be extended from November 19, 2022 for 120 days,” the Turkish leader wrote on Twitter.

Erdogan thanked UN chief Antonio Guterres, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky for their efforts to extend the initiative. “My congratulations to all those who contributed to this process,” he said.

According to Erdogan, over 11 million metric tons of agricultural products have been exported via the maritime humanitarian corridor since the launch of the initiative. “The implementation of the agreement showed how important and useful it is for the provision of global food security,” the Turkish president emphasized.

The agreements on the export of food from Ukraine were concluded on July 22 for a period of 120 days. One of the agreements regulating grain exports from the Kiev-controlled ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny is valid until November 19, while the Istanbul-based Joint Coordination Center (JCC) established by Russia, the UN, Ukraine and Turkey is designed to conduct vessel inspections to prevent weapons smuggling or any provocations. The latter was signed by Russia, Turkey and the UN and separately by Ukraine, Turkey and the UN.

Also, Russia and the UN signed a memorandum under which the international organization is committed to removing restrictions on the export of Russian agricultural products and fertilizers to global markets.