Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Turkish President Erdogan to meet UN Secretary-General Guterres for grain deal talks


Turkiye in Close Contact with UN to Revive Black Sea Grain Initiative

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has announced that Turkiye is in close contact with the United Nations (UN) to revive the Black Sea grain initiative. Erdogan stated that he will discuss this matter with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the upcoming UN General Assembly. The latest UN proposal aims to address some of the demands put forth by Russia, and Erdogan believes that a solution can be reached soon.

Russian demands include the return of its Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT payments system and insuring the ships involved in the grain initiative. Erdogan mentioned that the UN Secretary-General’s proposal suggests an intermediary mechanism resulting from the SWIFT transaction, which is not directly SWIFT as desired by the Russians. He also stated that work is underway to address the insurance issue.

Moscow considers these two demands as essential for reviving the Black Sea grain initiative. Russian President Vladimir Putin has informed Erdogan that he will not take any steps until Europe fulfills the promises made to him. It is worth noting that Turkiye, as a NATO member, is seeking to convince Russia to return to the initiative, which was brokered by Ankara and the UN. Russia withdrew from the initiative in July, ending a year of protected exports from Ukrainian ports due to the ongoing war.

During talks with Erdogan, Putin reiterated that Russia could return to the initiative if the West stops restricting Russian agricultural exports from reaching global markets. This indicates that resolving the trade restrictions between Russia and the West is crucial for reviving the Black Sea grain initiative.

President Erdogan’s upcoming schedule includes participating in the G20 summit in India on September 9-10, followed by attending the UN General Assembly in New York from September 18-26. He plans to have meetings with Secretary-General Guterres during these events to discuss the revival of the Black Sea grain initiative and other related matters.

The Black Sea grain initiative is of great importance for both Turkiye and Russia. It aims to facilitate the export of grains from the Black Sea region to global markets. The initiative was initially successful, with Russia benefiting from protected exports through Ukrainian ports. However, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and subsequent trade restrictions have disrupted this trade flow.

Reviving the Black Sea grain initiative would not only benefit Turkiye and Russia but also contribute to global food security. The Black Sea region is known for its significant grain production, and ensuring smooth trade in this sector is crucial for meeting global demand.

The close contact between Turkiye and the UN demonstrates their commitment to finding a solution and reviving the initiative. By addressing Russian demands and working towards resolving trade restrictions, there is hope for a positive outcome. The upcoming discussions between President Erdogan and Secretary-General Guterres will play a vital role in advancing these efforts.

In conclusion, Turkiye’s close contact with the UN to revive the Black Sea grain initiative is a significant development. President Erdogan’s upcoming meetings with Secretary-General Guterres will provide an opportunity to discuss potential solutions and address Russian demands. Reviving this initiative would not only benefit Turkiye and Russia but also contribute to global food security. The international community will be closely watching these discussions, hoping for a positive outcome that promotes trade and cooperation in the Black Sea region.

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