Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodoymyr Zelenskyy met in Istanbul for talks on Friday.
After one-on-one talks at the Vahdettin Mansion, Erdogan and Zelenskyy will hold inter-delegational meetings to discuss bilateral relations, regional and international issues, including the latest developments in the Russia-Ukraine war, the Black Sea grain deal which is set to expire on July 17, and ensuring peace and stability in the Black Sea region.
The leaders are also expected address a joint news conference.
A year ago Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports which had been paused 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.
Under the deal, more than 32 million tons of grain have been transported to people in need, according to Turkish officials.
Russian officials have strongly hinted that they could block the extension of the grain deal this month, complaining that parts of the deal to allow Russian exports have gone unfulfilled.
Türkiye, internationally praised for its unique mediator role between Ukraine and Russia, has repeatedly called on Kyiv and Moscow to end the war through negotiations.