BRUSSELS ( Associated Press) – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has met with Finland’s prime minister and spoke to the Turkish president as he seeks to overcome Turkey’s resistance to Finland and Sweden joining the coalition.
Stoltenberg, who visited Washington this week, tweeted late Friday that he had met with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and discussed “the need to address Turkey’s concerns and move forward” with Finnish and Swedish membership applications. Of.
Russia’s war in Ukraine prompted the Nordic countries to apply to join NATO, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Sweden and Finland of supporting Kurdish militants deemed terrorists by Turkey.
Stoltenberg said he had a “constructive phone call” with Erdogan, calling Turkey a “valuable ally” and trying to ensure the safe transportation of grain supplies from Ukraine amid a global food shortage caused by Russia’s aggression. praised Turkey’s efforts for a deal. Stoltenberg tweeted that he and Erdogan would continue their conversation without elaboration.
Erdogan’s office issued a statement in which it said the president had insisted that Sweden and Finland “must make it clear that they have stopped supporting terrorism,” lifted defense export sanctions on Turkey and “aligned Ready to show solidarity.”
The Nordic states, among other countries, banned arms sales in the wake of Turkey’s 2019 military incursion into northern Syria.
The NATO chief’s diplomatic efforts come ahead of a gathering next week of senior officials from Sweden, Finland and Turkey in Brussels, where NATO is based, to discuss opposition to Turkey’s applications.
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