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UPDATE - Turkish president to speak with Putin on grain deal in coming days

UPDATE - Turkish president to speak with Putin on grain deal in coming days
World appreciates Türkiye's mediation efforts between Russia and Ukraine, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says


By Diyar Guldogan

ANKARA (AA) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said he will have a phone call in the coming days with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss the Black Sea grain initiative.

"We will have a phone call with Putin in two-three days," Erdogan said in an interview broadcast live on Turkish channels NTV and Star TV.

He said that the world appreciates Türkiye’s mediation efforts between Russia and Ukraine.

"We are already acknowledged in the world. Türkiye's success is on everyone's lips in the world," he added.

Last July, Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed a deal in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February 2022.

Erdogan announced the deal's extension on Saturday, one day before it was slated to lapse.

The president also recalled Putin's offer of sending grain to poor countries free of charge.

He added that Türkiye is in preparation for buying wheat to turn it into flour and sending it to poor countries.

"(Together with Putin), We will take our steps in this area as well," Erdogan said.

- Earthquakes in Türkiye

About last month's powerful earthquakes in Türkiye's southern region, Erdogan said they are making efforts to “heal the wounds” of the victims.

On Feb. 6, magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes struck 11 Turkish provinces – Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Hatay, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa, claiming the lives of over 50,000 people.

More than 13.5 million people in Türkiye have been affected by the quakes as well as many others in northern Syria.

Erdogan vowed to reconstruct the quake-hit regions, saying: "As we promised, we are starting to lay the foundation tomorrow (Thursday). I hope that we will be able to finish the permanent houses in one year."

The president said that 302 suspects were arrested as part of an investigation carried out after the earthquakes.

"We will be following (investigations) closely. Those who do not fulfill their responsibilities will be held accountable. There's no escape," he added.

source: News Feed
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