« The Black Sea grain deal was unlikely to be sustainable without Russia, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed at a press conference at the G20 Summit in the Indian capital New Delhi on Sunday.
« As Russia, Qatar and Turkey, we attach importance to the processing and delivery of 1 million tonnes of grain to African countries suffering from food shortages. I hope we will accomplish this by joining hands. A process that excludes Russia in the grain issue is unlikely to be sustainable, » said Erdogan.
Turkey’s president went on to emphasise that he held talks with US President Joe Biden about a multi-billion dollar deal including the sale of 40 F16 fighter jets to Ankara as well as modernisation kits for planes that are already part of the Turkish Air Force’s inventory. Erdogan said that the US expected Turkey to ratify Sweden’s NATO bid before approving the F16 deal, calling it ‘upsetting’.
« Such an approach seriously upsets us. When it is said like this, I have one answer to give: you say congress (US Congress) for everything, I also have a congress. Where is my congress? The Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Unless such a decision is passed by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, it is not possible for me to say yes, » Erdogan noted.
« I’m not at a point where I can decide on my own. It must pass through my parliament. Sweden must fulfil its duties, as long as it does not fulfil its duties, of course I have to wait for the decision of my parliament, » he added.
Erdogan also vowed that Turkey will not remain silent and unresponsive on recent Quran burnings in Europe, calling them acts of ‘barbarism’ and ‘hate crimes’.
« Unfortunately, most of the countries that defend democracy and human rights are playing three monkeys in the face of this barbarism. The burning of the Quran under police protection is not freedom of opinion, it is an overt provocation, a hate crime. No one can expect us to remain silent and unresponsive in the face of this, » he noted.
Erdogan also welcomed the African Union’s permanent membership to G20 during the press conference following the summit. »