Erdoğan asserts Türkiye’s role in G20 corridor deal


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has emphasized “Türkiye’s indispensable role” in the newly established economic corridor agreement linking India, the Middle East and Europe.

“There cannot be a corridor without Türkiye. Türkiye is an important production and trade base. The most convenient line for east-to-west traffic has to pass through Türkiye,” Erdoğan declared while speaking to journalists on board the return flight from New Delhi on Sept. 11, after attending the G20 summit.

At the summit, representatives from India, the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union signed a memorandum of understanding to construct a railway and maritime network, aimed at enhancing trade, energy resource access and digital connectivity between participating nations.

While the agreement did not impose binding financial commitments, the parties agreed to draft an action plan for the corridor’s establishment within the next two months.

The envisioned corridor will be comprised of two distinct segments: The eastern corridor, linking India to West Asia and the Middle East, and the northern corridor, connecting West Asia and the Middle East to Europe. The corridor will extend from India to the UAE, passing through Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel and eventually connecting Europe.

In addition to its economic objectives, the corridor is viewed as a geopolitical challenge to China’s regional influence, while offering significant strategic and economic benefits to India.

Erdoğan also revealed discussions regarding a separate corridor agreement made with Gulf states during the summit. “We are talking about a corridor to Europe through Iraq, Qatar, the UAE and Türkiye,” he explained. The president noted that his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, expressed a strong desire to expedite negotiations and commence construction within two months.

The Turkish leader further touched upon the recently stalled critical grain deal. The agreement, which had been brokered by Türkiye and the United Nations in July 2022, encountered a setback when Russia decided to withdraw from it on July 17, alleging unfulfilled obligations by its counterparts.

Efforts are underway to revive the grain deal, with both Türkiye and the United Nations recognizing its importance in addressing global food security concerns and stabilizing grain prices in the global market. Erdoğan stated that leaders he met during the summit expressed their appreciation for Türkiye’s efforts in reopening the grain corridor.

Furthermore, Erdoğan mentioned recent discussions with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Sochi regarding a plan to assist the six poorest African nations by supplying 1 million tons of Russian wheat free of charge.

Erdoğan expressed his intent to increase this quantity through continued diplomatic dialogue with Putin, adding that grain shipments would commence “when Russia’s demands were met.” The president concluded his remarks by calling on Western countries to fulfill their promises and actively contribute to these critical initiatives.__Daily Hurriyet