Top Turkish, US diplomats discuss historic Ukraine grain export deal

In phone call, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Anthony Blinken talk latest developments on grain exports from Ukraine and bilateral ties, just after first grain ship pased inspection.

Top Turkish, US diplomats discuss historic Ukraine grain export deal

In a phone call, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday discussed the latest on a historic UN-backed deal to resume Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea.

Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed a deal on July 22 to reopen three Ukrainian ports for grain that has been stuck for months due to the Russia-Ukraine war, which is now in its sixth month.

Cavusoglu and Blinken discussed the historic deal and latest developments on the matter, less than a day after the first ship passed an inspection in Istanbul and proceeded to Lebanon.

The two also spoke about bilateral ties, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

Meanwhile, Blinken said on Twitter: "Spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to discuss efforts to unlock Ukrainian grain exports and alleviate the global food crisis caused by Russia's unprovoked, unjustified full-scale invasion of Ukraine."

The historic deal came after agreement was reached between the parties on the UN-led plan during talks in Istanbul to form a coordination center to carry out joint inspections at the entrances and exits of harbors and to ensure the safety of the routes.

The US State Department on Wednesday commended the UN and Türkiye "for mediating the diplomacy that resulted in today's significant step, which raises hope of bringing the millions of tons of grain stuck at Ukraine’s ports to those facing food insecurity around the world."

"But this is only a first step, and continued implementation of the July 21 UN-facilitated deal is essential to bolster food security around the world," it added, while calling on Russia to "meet its commitments, including by facilitating unimpeded exports of agricultural products from Black Sea ports."