By Merve Aydogan
ANKARA (AA) - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday spoke over the phone with his Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau and discussed a UN-backed deal to resume Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea.
Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed a deal on July 22 to reopen three Ukrainian ports – Odesa, Chernomorsk, and Yuzhny – for grain that has been stuck for months because of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, which is now in its sixth month.
Rau congratulated Türkiye on reaching the historic deal, as the two also spoke about bilateral ties and cooperation on international platforms, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
The deal came after a general agreement was reached between the parties on a UN-led plan during talks in Istanbul on July 13 to form a coordination center to carry out joint inspections at the entrance and exit of the harbors and to ensure the safety of the routes.
Today, the first grain-loaded ship departed the Ukrainian port of Odesa for Lebanon, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced that the ship will anchor off the coast of Istanbul around 1200GMT on Tuesday for a joint inspection.
Loaded with corn, the Sierra Leone-flagged dry cargo ship Razoni is on course for its final destination of the port of Tripoli in northern Lebanon.