Turkish president, UN chief discuss extension of grain deal over phone

This file photograph taken on July 31, 2022, shows a grain combine harvester collecting wheat near Novoazovsk outside Mariupol. (Photo: AFP)

ISTANBUL, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres discussed the extension of the Ukraine grain deal during a phone call on Friday.

According to the Turkish Directorate of Communications, Erdogan stated that extending the grain deal is necessary, which is about to expire in three weeks.

It added that the Turkish leader also expressed satisfaction due to the resumption of the grain deal after heavy diplomatic traffic between Russia and Ukraine.

Russia had put an indefinite hiatus to the agreement over the weekend, citing Ukrainian attacks against its Black Sea fleet. Moscow re-entered the deal after intervention by Turkish and United Nations diplomats.

In late July, the United Nations and Türkiye brokered the Black Sea Grain Initiative to allow grain exports from three Ukraine ports to transit through a safe maritime humanitarian corridor in the Black Sea.

Türkiye's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Tuesday that as part of the initiative, more than 10 million tons of grain leaving the Ukrainian ports had been shipped to those in need.