UPDATE - Date not yet set on Putin's next visit to Türkiye: President Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he hopes Vladimir Putin will visit Türkiye in August
ADDS MORE REMARKS OF TURKISH PRESIDENT
By Diyar Guldogan
On the Russian president's upcoming visit to Türkiye, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that the date has not yet been set, but talks continue and hopefully Vladimir Putin will visit in August.
"The date is not clear, but the foreign minister, head of the intelligence organization, they are all holding talks,” Erdogan told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul.
"Within the framework of these talks, I think that this visit will take place hopefully in August."
Erdogan’s remarks followed his Wednesday phone call with Putin, in which they agreed Putin would pay a visit to Türkiye in the coming days.
Erdogan also told Putin that Türkiye will continue its “intense” efforts and diplomacy for resumption of the Black Sea grain deal.
On July 17, Russia suspended its participation in the deal, which it signed in July 2022 along with Türkiye, the UN, and Ukraine to resume grain exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February. Moscow has complained that the Russian part of the agreement was not being implemented.
Türkiye, internationally praised for its unique mediator role between Ukraine and Russia, has repeatedly called on Kyiv and Moscow to end the war through negotiations.
On Putin’s recent offer to send grain to African countries free of charge, Erdogan said: "We’re in line with Russia on this issue, that is, we will turn the grains coming from Russia through the Black Sea corridor into flour and we will transport (flour) to poor African countries and underdeveloped countries.”
Even now, Türkiye will continue to take these steps and give its support and aid to poor countries, he said.
Asked about Mali, a West African country that lived under French colonial rule, “making new decisions and starting to oppose that,” Erdogan said: "This is not the first thing France has done. In other words, what it did in Algeria in the past, what it did in Rwanda, what it did in Mali, all this is now available in all international records. Africans know this very well."
The former colonies, Erdogan said, “have now completely stopped the shipment of gold, as well as the shipment of uranium to France. It is a response to these countries being persecuted for years.”
Türkiye is working to maintain its positive ties with African countries, he added.
Türkiye has long stressed its ties with African countries based on the win-win principle, in contrast to European countries’ traditionally colonialist approach, which Turkish leaders have encouraged European countries to admit to and atone for.
- Türkiye's first-ever female admiral
About Türkiye's first-ever female admiral, appointed at Tuesday’s Supreme Military Council meeting, Erdogan voiced pleasure over the appointment.
"There are many such appointments in the judiciary, but now for the first time in the armed forces,” he said of the Staff Col. Gokcen Firat being named rear admiral in the Turkish Naval Forces.
"I congratulate her. Hopefully, we will see this continue at subsequent meetings.”
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