President Erdoğan’s Phone Call with Vladimir Putin on the Grain Deal
President Erdoğan had a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday and discussed the resumption of the Black Sea grain deal. During the call, Erdoğan underlined that he views the grain deal as a ‘bridge of peace’ and reiterated Ankara’s decisiveness to exert intense efforts and diplomacy to reactivate the grain deal, whereby millions of people benefit. President Erdoğan stated that grain prices decreased by 23 percent during the deal’s implementation. However, after the pause in the deal, the prices went up by 15 percent in the last two weeks of July. This situation poses serious risks for low-income countries, especially African countries. Last year, Türkiye signed the grain deal with Russia and the UN, which led to many countries’ hailing of Turkish diplomacy, as it paved the way for the Ukrainian grain to flow to the countries in need. Yet, a year after the deal, President Putin suspended Russia’s participation, stipulating new conditions for the resumption of it.
Faisal al-Mekdad’s Visit to Tehran
The Foreign Minister of the Assad Regime, Faisal al-Mekdad, visited Syria with a large delegation on Monday. Reportedly, the visit aimed at launching a series of meetings between both sides to boost economic and political cooperation. The Syrian Economy and Foreign Trade Minister Mohammed Samer al-Khalil and many other high-ranking figures accompanied Mekdad. The minister’s s visit took place at a time when the economic crisis in Syria was deepening, and the living standards were deteriorating on a daily basis. The meeting also coincides with a number of political developments transpiring on Syrian soil, such as the Assad regime’s legitimization attempts at the regional level, the increasing Israeli attacks against the Iran-backed militias in Syria, and Turkey’s growing drone strikes against the YPG/PYD affiliates in Northern Syria.
For a long time, Russia and Iran, two staunch supporters of the Syrian regime over the course of the Syrian crisis, have been vying to increase their roles in Syria’s economy through different projects. Due to the Russian preoccupation with the Ukraine crisis, Iran is upping its initiatives to increase its share in the war-ravaged Syria’s economy.