Russia's Lavrov to meet Arab League chief in Cairo on Sunday

Foreign minister will also visit Uganda, Ethiopia and the Republic of Congo this month

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit in Moscow on April 4. EPA
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Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Sunday during a visit to Egypt.

The meeting will be held at the headquarters of the pan-Arab body in Cairo, the Arab League said.

Mr Lavrov will also address the Arab League Council following his meeting with Mr Aboul Gheit.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Mr Lavrov will pay official visits to Egypt, Uganda, Ethiopia and the Republic of Congo between July 24 and 28.

Mr Lavrov's visit to Cairo was announced days after Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks in Tehran with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts, Ebrahim Raisi and Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The leaders discussed a deal to allow Ukraine to resume grain exports through the Black Sea, now blockaded by Russia.

The war in Ukraine has caused food insecurity in Arab nations, many of which are heavily dependent on wheat imports from the former Soviet state.

Turkey said on Thursday that Russia and Ukraine will sign a deal in Istanbul on Friday to reopen Black Sea ports for Ukrainian grain exports, raising hopes that a global food crisis caused by Russia's invasion could be eased.

Ukraine and Russia, among the world's biggest exporters of food, did not immediately confirm the announcement by the office of the Turkish presidency. But in a late-night video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hinted that his country's Black Sea ports could soon be unblocked.

The blockade by Russia's Black Sea fleet has worsened global supply chain disruptions and, along with western sanctions imposed on Moscow, stoked high inflation in food and energy prices since Russian forces swept into Ukraine on February 24.

Updated: July 22, 2022, 9:21 AM
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