The German Chancellor thanks Erdogan for his role in exporting Ukrainian grains

The German Chancellor thanks Erdogan for his role in exporting Ukrainian grains

German Chancellor Olaf Schulz confirmed that Turkey played a constructive and important role in exporting grains from Ukraine, thanking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his “personal contributions” to this, pointing to the agreement with President Erdogan to end “Russian aggression” against Ukraine.

German Chancellor Olaf Schulz said that Turkey played a constructive and important role in exporting grains from Ukraine, expressing his thanks to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his personal contributions in this regard.

This came in a press conference by the German Chancellor and the Turkish President, as part of a one-day working visit by Erdogan to the capital, Berlin.

The German Chancellor pointed out that they are dealing with many crises in the world, and that it was agreed with President Erdogan to end the "Russian aggression" against Ukraine.

He recalled that the proposal regarding the protocol for Sweden's accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) had been submitted to the Turkish Parliament for ratification, expressing his belief that Sweden would become a member of it.

Referring to the Israeli attacks on Gaza, Schulz said that they “unequivocally condemn Hamas,” adding: “We will talk about what we can do in light of the tension. We are concerned about the spread of conflict in the region.”

He considered that "Israel has the right to defend itself in accordance with international law," adding: "Every life has equal value. What the people of Gaza are going through also saddens us, and this year we are also providing assistance worth 160 million euros."

The German Chancellor stressed that the two-state solution must be the ultimate goal.

Regarding the number of Muslims in his country, Schulz said, “Five million Muslims have a place here in Germany, and we are against those who deny them.”

He explained that there are great tensions in the Middle East and that what happens in the region concerns them.

He added: "It is true that we partly differ in opinions. It is important to speak directly in difficult times."

He indicated that he would discuss with President Erdogan concrete progress regarding Turkey's membership in the European Union, adding: "We have fallen behind our potential in relations, and we will see what kind of progress we can achieve here."

Reducing irregular migration

Speaking about the importance of irregular migration, Schulz said: “We want to reduce it. A good agreement was reached (with Turkey) in 2016. We want to contribute to improving this agreement in the European Union and maintaining it, as it is for our mutual benefit.”

He stressed that the German and Turkish peoples have close relations in many respects, indicating that the importance of this relationship was demonstrated through the aid provided by Germany during the earthquake of February 6, 2023 in Turkey.

In response to questions during the press conference, Schulz stressed Germany's support for Israel's right to defend itself and said: "We must reduce the number of civilian casualties."

He stressed that Germany took steps at an early stage to allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.

He pointed out that negotiations were being held with countries such as Egypt, Qatar and Turkey to release the hostages and allow foreign citizens in Gaza to leave the region, recalling that this issue was also raised at the European Union summit.

Schulz said that Hamas should be prevented from repeating the attacks of last October 7, stressing the need to support the two-state solution as a perspective for the future.

He pointed to the importance of Turkey's support for the Black Sea Grains Initiative, adding: "There was very good mediation (from Turkey). Unfortunately, and very sadly, Russia withdrew from this agreement."

APEC summit: a dispute over Gaza and Ukraine and an agreement to reform the World Trade Organization

The leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries were divided over the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, as Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei supported the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, while the leaders agreed to support reform of the World Trade Organization.

The leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries appeared divided over the wars in Ukraine and Gaza after a two-day summit from Wednesday to Friday, but they pledged to support reform of the World Trade Organization.

Days of meetings in which APEC ministers and leaders participated were dominated by a summit held on Wednesday between US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, with the aim of calming tensions between the two largest economies in the world, which raised concern in the region.

The 21 APEC members, including Russia, Indonesia and Malaysia with Muslim majorities, entered the meetings divided over the Russian war in Ukraine and the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, and so they left the meetings.

A statement issued by the United States, which chairs APEC this year, repeated the declaration of the leaders of the forum last year, which said that "most APEC members strongly condemn the aggression against Ukraine."

The statement added that the leaders exchanged views on the Gaza crisis, with some objecting to the language of the statement of the current session president, the United States, which covers economic issues, “on the basis that they do not believe that APEC is a forum for discussing geopolitical issues.”

The APEC presidency statement noted that some of the forum's leaders shared the unified messages of the joint Arab-Islamic summit held on November 11 in Riyadh.

Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia said in a joint statement that they are among the leaders of the ABC who supported the messages of the Riyadh Summit, which called for an immediate cessation of military operations in Gaza and rejected what Israel says is that what it is committing against the Palestinians is an act of self-defense.

The three countries also called for an "immediate and permanent" humanitarian truce, and the unhindered provision of basic goods and services to civilians in Gaza.

A free, open and fair trading environment

In the declaration, APEC leaders unanimously affirmed their determination to “provide a free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, inclusive and predictable trade and investment environment.”

The statement added: “We are committed to the necessary reform of the WTO to improve all its functions, including holding discussions with the goal of having a full and effective dispute settlement system available to all members by 2024.”

The Biden-Xi summit reached agreements to resume military contacts and work to limit fentanyl production, which showed some tangible progress in the first direct talks between the two countries in a year, but it fell short of significantly resetting their strategic competition.

International Monetary Fund Director Kristalina Georgieva said, in press statements, that the Biden-Xi meeting was a much-needed signal that the world needs more cooperation and a positive signal for cooperation in confronting global challenges, especially climate change.
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