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Erdogan: Türkiye-brokered Ukraine grain deal extended by four months

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that an agreement was reached to extend the Black Sea grain initiative by 120 days.

Erdogan said on Thursday that it’s clear how important the deal is for global food supply and security.

He thanked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Russian and Ukrainian leaders for their willingness to extend the deal and congratulated those involved.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the extension, adding that Guterres and Erdogan “made key decision in the global fight against the food crisis.”

Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry said in a statement that the “decision was just taken in Istanbul” and that “the United Nations and Türkiye remain guarantors of the Initiative.”

The initial deal reached in July has helped stave off a global food crisis by allowing the export of food and fertilisers from several of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports that had been blockaded by Russia.

Türkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement on July 22 in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February.

The parties were negotiating a possible extension and expansion beyond its planned expiration on Saturday, November 19, with Erdogan saying Ankara is determined to get Russian grain and fertilisers to less-developed countries.

READ MORE: Türkiye: More ships leave Ukrainian ports after resumption of grain deal

UN hails extension

Guterres also welcomed the extension of an agreement allowing Ukraine to export grain.

“I welcome the agreement by all parties to continue the Black Sea Grain Initiative to facilitate the safe navigation of export of grain, foodstuffs and fertilisers from Ukraine,” Guterres said in a statement.

The statement was shared by the Istanbul-based Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) that has been overseeing the agreement.

“The United Nations is also fully committed to removing the remaining obstacles to exporting food and fertilisers from the Russian Federation,” he said.

Ukraine is one of the world’s top grain producers, and Russia’s attacks on the country blocked 20 million tonnes of grain in its ports before the Ankara-brokered deal.

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