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United Nations chief alters travel plan in a bid to save Ukraine grain deal

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has decided to alter his travel plans to focus his efforts on saving the Black Sea Grain Initiative, said his spokesman.

Russia on Saturday announced the suspension of its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative following an attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Xinhua news agency reported.

The initial duration of the agreement is 120 days and expires on November 19. The parties had agreed that the deal could be extended automatically on the condition that no party objects.

“The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the ongoing situation regarding the Black Sea Grain Initiative. He has decided to delay his departure for the Arab League (AL) summit in Algiers by a day to focus on the issue,” said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, in a statement on Sunday.

Guterres continues to engage in intense contact to end the Russian suspension of its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The same engagement is also aimed at the renewal and full implementation of the initiative to facilitate exports of food and fertiliser from Ukraine and the removal of the remaining obstacles to the exports of Russian food and fertiliser, the statement added.

The UN chief was initially scheduled to leave on Monday for the AL summit.

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