Saturday, December 10, 2022

WATCH LIVE: President Joe Biden meets with Swedish and Finnish leaders amid bid for NATO membership

President Joe Biden meets with Swedish and Finnish leaders on Thursday amid their bid for NATO membership.

The event is scheduled to begin at 10 am ET. Watch in the player above.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday he was “confident that we will come to a quick decision to welcome both Sweden and Finland to join the NATO family” despite Turkey’s opposition to the two Nordic countries joining the 30-member military alliance.

Stoltenberg would not be drawn out further on the substance of Turkey’s objections, but he said that NATO remains in close contact with Sweden, Finland and Turkey.

“We are addressing the concerns that Turkey has expressed. Because when an important ally (like) Turkey raises security concerns, raises issues, then of course the only way to deal with that is to sit down and find common ground,” he told reporters.

Finland and Sweden officially implemented to join the world’s biggest security organization on Wednesday. A first meeting of NATO ambassadors to discuss their applications failed to reach a consensus on whether to move forward.

The NATO chief was in Copenhagen and met with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Danish Defense Minister Morten Bødskov.

Several European countries, including Sweden and Finland, restricted arms exports to Turkey following the country’s cross-border operation into northeast Syria in 2019 with the stated goal of clearing the border area of ​​Kurdish militants.

Turkey says the Syrian Kurdish People’s Defense Units, or YPG, is directly linked to the PKK, and Ankara was frustrated by American support for them in fighting the Islamic State group.

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