UPDATE - Türkiye opposed to unilateral sanctions, external interventions in Venezuela: Foreign minister

UPDATE - Türkiye opposed to unilateral sanctions, external interventions in Venezuela: Foreign minister

Russia should be brought to table to revive Black Sea grain deal, says Hakan Fidan


By Muhammed Enes Calli

ISTANBUL (AA) – Türkiye is opposed to unilateral sanctions, and external interventions in Venezuela, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Friday.

At a press conference along with his Venezuelan counterpart Yvan Gil in Istanbul, Fidan expressed Türkiye's support for the dialogue process between the government and the opposition in Venezuela.

Highlighting their dedication to global peace, Gil said that Türkiye and Venezuela advocate the resolution of all conflicts, particularly those in Europe, through dialogue.

Gil also highlighted the significant investment and cooperation policies developed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Latin America, adding that Erdogan's visit to Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, in the coming months would further accelerate the momentum of the agreements between two countries.

Venezuela sees Türkiye as a rising country and a strong nation under the leadership of President Erdogan, he said.

“We view it as a guarantor of peace and development,” Gil added.

Türkiye and Venezuela also signed a mutual promotion and protection of investments agreement.

During the meeting, the foreign ministers discussed the development of economic relations between Türkiye and Venezuela and the steps to achieve the target of $3 billion in mutual trade.

Topics related to enhancing cooperation in energy, tourism, agriculture, and culture were also addressed.

- Black Sea grain deal

Fidan said that Türkiye believes Russia should be brought to the table to revive the Black Sea grain deal, adding that other solutions have a high probability of endangering security.

He highlighted that Türkiye and the United Nations made serious efforts, and Ukraine also brought forward alternative proposals to renew the deal.

He added that in his call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, they received detailed reasons for Russia's withdrawal from the agreement.

“We are working to get Russia back to the table, meeting its demands, and ensuring that all parties emerge as winners. Hopefully, this crisis will be resolved as soon as possible.”

Earlier this week, Russia pulled out of the Black Sea grain deal, saying the Russian part of the agreement was not implemented.

The agreement, initially signed in July last year in Istanbul by Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine, was aimed at resuming grain exports from Ukrainian ports which had been halted as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war which began in February 2022.

- Attacks targeting Islam’s holy book

Regarding the attacks targeting Islam’s holy book, the Quran, Fidan said: "We believe that unless the Islamic world collectively responds to attacks on the Quran, there would be no awareness in the Western countries on the issue."

He added that he spoke with his counterparts from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Libya's Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dibeybe in response to the increasing attacks on the Quran.

Fidan said they agreed to urgently convene the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Early Thursday morning, a crowd of Iraqis stormed Sweden’s Embassy in Baghdad and set it ablaze in protest against the June 28 burning of a copy of the Quran last month by Salwan Momika, an Iraq-born man who now lives in Sweden.

Sweden's Foreign Ministry condemned the attack on its embassy in Baghdad, calling it a "serious violation" of the Vienna Convention.

Following the storming of Stockholm's diplomatic mission, Momika again desecrated a copy of the Quran, stepping on it and the Iraqi flag in front of Iraq's embassy in Sweden.

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