UPDATE 1-Grain deal suspension would benefit nobody -Turkish defence minister
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ANKARA, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Turkey's defence minister said on Monday the suspension of the Black Sea grain export deal would not benefit any parties involved and would lead to a further build-up at ports, after Moscow halted its participation in the initiative.
Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said he would hold a phone call later on Monday with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu and that he was also continuing talks with the Ukrainian defence minister.
"Speaking with them, we will make efforts to ensure the continuation of this initiative," a statement by Akar's ministry quoted him as saying in a video conference with Turkish military chiefs.
Russia, which invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, said it suspended its role in the deal for an "indefinite term" because it could not "guarantee the safety of civilian ships" after an attack on its Black Sea fleet.
"In such a situation the passage of ships will be delayed and the build-up at ports will intensify. Those in need are already urgently waiting for the grains. In this situation the distress will increase further," Akar said.
Russia and Ukraine are among the world's biggest food exporters, and a Russian blockade of Ukrainian grain shipments caused a global food crisis earlier this year. (Reporting by Yesim Dikmen and Ece Toksabay Editing by Daren Butler)
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