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NATO summit: difficult talks with Erdogan expected

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To: 06/28/2022 16:27

In fact, NATO is more united than it has been for a long time. But Turkey is blocking the planned membership of Sweden and Finland. US President Biden therefore wants to meet Erdogan in Madrid for bilateral talks.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will discuss the war in Ukraine and Finland and Sweden’s planned NATO membership with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the NATO summit. The two presidents are scheduled to meet on Wednesday, Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. However, he added that the United States would not play a “mediator role” on the matter. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg remains responsible.

Many demands from Erdogan

The Turkish president has resisted the planned membership of Sweden and Finland since mid-May. Erdogan is due to meet Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Stoltenberg today. “We don’t want empty words, we want results,” Erdogan said. Turkey’s “most important expectation” at the NATO summit is NATO’s “unconditional solidarity”. He recalled that Turkey had been part of the Atlantic Alliance for 70 years. Erodgan demanded that if Finland and Sweden wanted to join NATO, they should heed “Turkey’s concerns”.

After initial introductory talks, Niinistö spoke of “progress”. Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde called on the talks, which could continue after the NATO summit in Madrid, to be “patient”. Given the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden want to give up their previous neutrality and join the alliance. As a NATO member, however, Turkey can veto membership applications.

Turkey buys the Russian system

Western states suspect Erdogan of using the veto threat not only for domestic political purposes, but also to extract concessions from the United States. Fittingly, Erdogan explained in advance that the “most important topic” of conversation with Biden was the F-16 fighter jets. In 2019, Turkey’s decision to buy Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missiles sparked tensions between Ankara and Washington. Washington therefore imposed sanctions on Ankara and suspended a contract with Turkey for the purchase of the latest generation of American fighter planes (F-35). Ankara then insisted on compensation and demanded at least the delivery of older generation fighter planes (F-16).

Source www.tagesschau.de

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