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Turkey’s Fidan, NATO chief discuss Sweden’s bid, Ukraine grain deal

The phone call comes a day after the meeting in Sochi between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan speaks during a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart in Tehran on September 3, 2023. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP) (Photo by ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images)

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg held a phone call on Tuesday in which they discussed efforts to revive the Black Sea grain deal and Sweden's pending NATO membership.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu confirmed the call, which comes a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan traveled to Sochi on Monday for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Sochi gathering did not achieve an imminent breakthrough to restore the deal that allowed Ukrainian grain to reach world markets via the Black Sea. 

The agreement expired last July and Russia has refused to renew it without a loosening of the Western sanctions imposed on Moscow. But Erdogan on Monday expressed hope that it would be revived in short order.

“We believe that we will reach a solution that will meet the expectations in a short time,” Erdogan said during a press briefing after the meeting, Reuters reported. 

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