The Turkish presidency announced Sunday that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet his US counterpart, Joe Biden, on the sidelines of the NATO summit, which Lithuania will host next week.
The presidency indicated that the talks will focus on “Ukraine’s status in NATO, Sweden’s membership, and the delivery of F-16 fighters,” which Turkey hopes to obtain from the United States. The statement did not indicate the date of the meeting.
He is scheduled to meet Erdogan Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Christson Monday eve summit hosted in Vilnius on Tuesday and Wednesday. Christerson hopes to persuade Erdogan to drop his objection and give the green light to Sweden’s accession to the bloc.
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson during his meeting with Biden at the White House last week
The presidency stated that Erdogan and Biden held a phone conversation on Sunday, during which they particularly discussed Sweden’s accession to NATO and Turkey’s delivery of F-16 fighters.
And the statement continued, “President Erdogan thanked US President Biden for his support for the Turkish request to obtain F-16 fighters, indicating that it is not right to link the Turkish order for F-16 fighters and Sweden’s accession” to NATO.
Biden had Connect the two things in a phone call He conducted it with Erdogan after winning a new presidential term on May 28.
And on Sunday, Erdogan reaffirmed his position, especially his demand for Sweden to be more stringent towards Kurdish refugees suspected of being activists in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.
The Turkish presidency statement quoted Erdogan as telling Biden that “Sweden has taken some steps in the right direction by introducing amendments to anti-terrorism laws.”
A Turkish F-16 fighter during a NATO 2022 exercise (archive)
However, Erdogan stressed that Sweden’s decision to allow pro-Kurdish groups to organize demonstrations on its soil “nullifies” those steps.
For its part, the White House said in a statement Sunday that Biden expressed, in the call with Erdogan, his desire to welcome Sweden as a member of NATO as soon as possible. The White House said the two leaders also discussed a range of issues that NATO leaders will consider at this week’s summit, including support for Ukraine against Russia.
On Thursday, Sweden failed to persuade Türkiye to back down from preventing it from Obtaining NATO membership During a meeting at the level of foreign ministers, Ankara requested more measures in the fight against terrorism.
Sweden and Finland submitted two applications for membership in the alliance last year, abandoning the policy of military non-alignment that continued throughout the decades of the Cold War, in response to the Russian military operation in Ukraine.
Applications must be approved by all NATO member states, and Finland got the go-ahead in April, but Turkey and Hungary have yet to agree to Sweden’s request. Stockholm is working to join the alliance during the summit to be held this week in Vilnius.
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