Erdogan, Biden discussed Sweden before NATO summit


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has discussed Sweden’s NATO bid with US President Joe Biden by phone ahead of the alliance’s summit this week.

The two leaders also discussed Ukraine’s position in NATO, the supply of F-16 fighter jets and Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union, according to a statement issued by Erdogan’s office on Sunday.

The statement said that during the phone call, Erdogan said that “Sweden has taken some steps in the right direction towards the ratification of the NATO bid by changing its anti-terrorism law”.

However, the Turkish leader said these steps were “untenable” as supporters of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) “continue to demonstrate freely in the country to advocate terrorism”.

Erdogan also stressed that it was not correct to link Turkey’s F-16 purchase from the US with Sweden’s NATO bid, with several US Congressional comments on Ankara’s demand for the F-16 purchase over Sweden’s NATO membership veto. Referring to the objections.

According to the statement, the two presidents agreed to meet face-to-face on July 11-12 at the NATO summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues in detail.

Regarding Turkey’s EU bid, Erdogan told Biden that his country is “principled and sincere” about EU membership, appealed to revive its membership process and join the EU at the upcoming Vilnius summit. Hoping to get a clear and strong message of support from the major countries of the world.

Biden, on his part, conveyed to Erdogan his desire to welcome Sweden into NATO as soon as possible, according to a White House statement.

Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO last year but faced objections from Turkey because both countries harbour members of the PKK and the Gulen movement, Xinhua news agency reported.

Turkey finally lifted its objection to Finland joining NATO earlier this year after Helsinki called for “concrete steps” taken by Ankara against such organizations.

In April Finland became the 31st member of NATO.

Erdogan-Biden discussed Sweden before NATO summitJoe BidenNATO summitRecep Tayyip ErdoğanSwedenSweden NATO bidTurkish President Recep Tayyip ErdoğanUS President Joe Biden