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Defense minister says Turkey is seeking to extend grain deal for 120 days

grain deal

Cargo ship Rubymar (R), carrying Ukrainian grain, and cargo ship Stella GS (L) originating from Ukraine, sail at the entrance of Bosphorus, in the Black Sea off the coast off Kumkoy, north of Istanbul, on November 2, 2022. - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the traffic of vessels carrying Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products resumed on November 2, 2022, after a telephone call between the Turkish and Russian defence ministers. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu called Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar to inform that "the grain shipments will continue from 12.00 today as planned before," Erdogan said in parliament. (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP)

Turkey will continue discussions to extend a deal that allows grain shipments from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports for 120 days rather than 60 days, Reuters reported, citing Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Wednesday.

“We started negotiations in line with the initial version of the deal. The continuation of the deal is important. We will continue our contacts (regarding its extension for) 120 days instead of two months,” Akar said according to a statement by the defense ministry.

Parties of the deal will evaluate and decide on a further extension of the agreement, Akar also said, adding that Ankara hoped for a positive outcome.

Since Russia and Ukraine signed the UN-backed Black Sea Grain Initiative in Turkey on July 22, millions of tons of grain and other food products have been exported from Ukrainian ports, helping lower global food prices from record highs.

As the talks continued, Russia suggested allowing the deal to be renewed for 60 days, half the term of the previous renewal, but Ukraine rejected it.

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