Int'l community curious about extension of Istanbul grain deal, says Turkish foreign minister

We must strive to bring Ukrainian, Russian leaders together, says Cavusoglu.

Int'l community curious about extension of Istanbul grain deal, says Turkish foreign minister

Türkiye's foreign minister said Friday there is curiosity among the international community on whether the landmark Istanbul grain deal would be extended in November.

During a press briefing at the Turkevi Center on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, Mevlut Cavusoglu said everyone "sees the role Türkiye has played on the grain deal," and his counterparts and representatives of international organizations are curious whether the four-month-long deal will be extended.

"During our meetings and talks with other representatives of international organizations, many foreign ministers said they believe Türkiye is a source of hope for peace (in Russia's war on Ukraine)," he added.

"Everyone knows that if a cease-fire will happen, it will happen via Türkiye's efforts," the foreign minister said.

Türkiye is trying to "bring Ukrainian, Russian leaders together" to reach a permanent and a fair cease-fire deal, Cavusoglu said.

However, the countries in "favor of a war" must also be "convinced for peace" because "everyone is paying the price of this war," he added.

On the F-16 deal, Cavusoglu said Türkiye and the US are continuing their technical talks.

"Our president (Recep Tayyip Erdogan) talked to some members of the US Senate and the Congress, and they have conveyed their strong support for the delivery of F-16 jets to Türkiye," he said.

Underlining that Ankara will not accept a conditional agreement, Cavusoglu said an agreement restricting a NATO member is unacceptable.

On UN reform talks, Cavusoglu said they have "seen the vision of 'the world is bigger than five', which the Turkish president has pioneered for years," being talked about at the UN by other world leaders.

"We believe that the (UN) General Assembly, the Security Council should be more inclusive. There are many formulas coming from different countries, and all countries should be well represented here," he said.

US President Joe Biden at the UN General Assembly said vetoes in the UN security council should only be used "in rare, extraordinary situations, to ensure that the council remains credible and effective".

However, Türkiye "wants the UN and UN Security Council to be more inclusive. It wants all countries to be represented here. Of course, a criteria could be determined according to the population, size and geographical distribution of each country. But on the other hand, the right of veto should also be abolished. There are alternatives to this," Cavusoglu said.

Hüseyin Demir