The president of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdogandealt today with the president of USA, Joe Bidenof the candidacy of Sweden to the NATO and agreed to hold a bilateral meeting at the Alliance summit in Vilnius on the 11th and 12th.
According to a statement from the Turkish Presidency, Erdogan told Biden in a telephone conversation that the Swedish government has taken steps in the right direction but regretted that supporters of the armed group Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) continue to hold demonstrations in Sweden.
Sweden needs the approval of all NATO partners and so far Ankara refuses to ratify the entry claiming that Sweden is too permissive with sympathizers of the PKK, considered a terrorist by both Turkey and the US and the European Union (EU). ).
“Sweden has taken some steps in the right direction by making changes to anti-terrorism legislation, but the fact that supporters of the PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist organization continue to freely hold demonstrations glorifying terrorism makes those steps pointless.”, reads the statement.
Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO last year, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, abandoning a decades-long policy of military neutrality.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg summoned Erdogan and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on Monday to try to come closer before the start of the Alliance summit the next day.
Erdogan and Biden agreed to meet in person in Vilnius and discuss bilateral relations between Turkey and the United States, as well as regional issues, according to the Turkish statement.
“President Erdogan also stated that it is not correct to associate Turkey’s request to obtain the F-16s with Sweden’s candidacy.”said the statement about Turkey’s intention to acquire those American fighter jets.
Finally, Erdogan expressed the desire to revitalize Turkey’s accession process to the EU and stressed the importance of the bloc’s countries offering a clear message in this regard at the summit.
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