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NATO: Türkiye played key role in grain deal extension, prisoner exchange

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Grain deal proves how it is important for global food security, says Jens Stoltenberg

The NATO chief on Monday reiterated the importance of Black Sea grain deal, saying Ankara and Turkish president played key role in its extension and prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine.

Speaking at Q&A session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Madrid, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the grain deal has proved how it is important for global food security.

“… This is important for food prices, especially for poor countries of the world. So the grain deal has proven extremely important and must ensure that it continues,” he said.

Lauding Türkiye over its efforts for the grain deal, Stoltenberg also pointed out the successful prisoner swaps between Moscow and Kyiv that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan facilitated.

“Also the agreement to exchange of prisoners of war something that Türkiye and President Erdogan facilitated and of course also much welcomed by allies,” he added.

On Thursday, days before its scheduled expiration, the landmark grain deal signed in Istanbul in July by Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine was extended for another 120 days, beginning Nov. 19.

On the tripartite agreement between Türkiye, Sweden and Finland over the NATO accession of the two Nordic countries, Stoltenberg recalled that all allies signed the accession protocol of their NATO bids and 28 allies out of 30 members have so far ratified the bid.

The accession process of Finland and Sweden continues very fast that has never happen before, he further said.

It is now time to see the two countries as NATO members, added Stoltenberg.

He also pointed to Türkiye’s security concerns and reiterated that no other NATO ally suffered more terrorist attacks than Türkiye.

The NATO chief once again condemned last Sunday’s terror attack on Istanbul’s crowded Istiklal Avenue that killed six people and left 81 injured.

He also underscored the importance of maintaining support to Ukraine against Russia, saying that everyone has seen how Russia has “weaponized energy.”

Russian capacity should not be underestimated, he added.

“We welcome that China has so far not providing any military support to Russia,” said Stoltenberg, adding that it is important as “no one should support Russia.”

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