UK’s Sunak, Turkey’s Erdogan agree on need to extend Black Sea grain deal

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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on the importance of extending the Black Sea grain deal that allows Ukraine to export grain from its Black Sea ports, Sunak’s office said on Tuesday.

“President Erdogan updated the Prime Minister on (Ukrainian) President Zelenskyy’s recent visit to Turkey and the leaders agreed on the importance of ensuring an extension to the Black Sea Grain Deal,” Sunak’s office said in a statement after the two leaders met at a NATO summit in Lithuania.

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Erdogan had on Saturday said that Turkey was working toward extending a Turkish- and UN-brokered grain deal that has paved the way for the shipment of more than 30 million tons of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea.

The deal, which helped temper rising global food prices, is set to expire July 17. Russia has been reluctant to extend the deal, citing obstacles to its own exports of food and fertilizer.

“We are continuing our work on the grain corridor issue. We are working to see how long we can extend it after July 17,” Erdogan said at a joint news conference with visiting Ukrainian President Zelenskyy.

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