Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said that his country respects the will of the Turkish people expressed in the elections held on Sunday, Anadolia reports.
“Turkey is still one of the main actors in NATO as well as for stability in the Mediterranean,” said Tajani in an interview with the Italian daily “Il Messaggero”.
Citizens of Turkey voted in regular presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday, choosing between three presidential candidates and 24 political parties and 151 independent candidates for the new convocation of the Grand National Assembly, which has a total of 600 seats.
More than 64.1 million citizens are registered to vote, including more than 1.76 million who voted abroad and 4.9 million who voted for the first time.
After no candidate won the necessary majority in Sunday’s elections, the second round of the presidential election will take place on May 28, the head of the Supreme Election Commission (YSK) Ahmet Yener announced.
Incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the joint candidate of the People’s Alliance led by the Justice and Development Party (AK Parti), won 49.51 percent in the first round, and Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the president of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the joint candidate of the National Alliance, was second with 44.88 percent of votes.
Sinan Ogan from the ATA alliance won 5.17 percent, and Muharrem Ince, who withdrew from the presidential race at the end of last week, 0.44 percent of the vote.
In the second round, Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu will fight for the position of president.
– Export of Ukrainian grain –
Touching upon the agreement reached through Ankara, which enables the export of Ukrainian grain to world markets via the Black Sea, Tajani particularly emphasized the importance of this agreement for world peace and stability in Africa.
As he said, the shortage of basic foodstuffs and grains in Africa could lead to a large wave of migration from Africa to Europe.
Therefore, he emphasized that it is necessary to continue to implement the agreement on the export of grain.
“We believe in Turkey’s efforts in the mediation process,” he said.
Turkey, the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement last July in Istanbul on the continuation of the export of grain from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which was suspended after the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war in February 2022.
A joint coordination center of the three countries and the UN was established in Istanbul to monitor the shipments.
Since then, a total of 866 ships have transported more than 27 million tons of grain through the Black Sea Corridor.
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