UN chief welcomes extension of Ukraine grain deal, expresses gratitude to Trkiye

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the extension of the Ukraine grain deal Wednesday and expressed gratitude to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for working with the world body. "We have some positive and significant developments... The confirmation by the Russian Federation to continue its participation in the Black Sea Initiative for another 60 days. I welcome this decision," Guterres said at a news conference. His remarks came hours after Erdogan announced the deal, which was set to expire May 18, was extended for two months. "With the efforts of our country, the support of our Russian friends, and the contributions of our Ukrainian friends, it was decided to extend the Black Sea grain corridor agreement for another two months," Erdogan said in an address to his Justice and Development (AK) Party's provincial heads, deputies and mayors via video link. Guterres said the continuation is good news for the world but outstanding issues remain. "I once again express my gratitude to President Erdogan and the government of Trkiye for their efforts working in permanent coordination with the United Nations," said the UN chief. Trkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine initially signed the agreement in Istanbul last July to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which were halted after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February 2022. A Joint Coordination Center with officials from the three countries and the UN was set up in Istanbul to oversee the shipments.

Source: Anadolu Agency