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Erdogan and Biden discuss relations and NATO summit agenda

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A phone call between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his US counterpart Joe Biden touched on regional issues and issues regarding Turkey-US relations, according to a statement from Turkey’s communications directorate.

Turkish President Erdogan suggested there was a possibility of a meeting between him and US President Biden. (AA)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his American counterpart Joe Biden discussed several issues, including a meeting of NATO members in Madrid, by telephone.

“The call touched on regional issues and issues regarding Turkey-US relations,” a statement from Türkiye’s communications department said after Tuesday’s call.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the agenda for the June 28-30 summit of NATO countries, he added.

“We had a meeting with Mr. (US President Joe) Biden this morning. He expressed his desire to meet again tonight or tomorrow. We replied to him that it is possible to meet again,” Erdogan told Ankara, speaking to reporters before flying to Madrid.

According to a White House statement, Biden “looks forward to seeing President Erdogan at the NATO summit in Madrid, where leaders will discuss the implications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine for transatlantic security and other threats against the Alliance such as terrorism, as well as to take historic decisions aimed at strengthening the collective defense and security of the Alliance”.

READ MORE: Ankara wants ‘results’ not ‘verbiage’ from Sweden and Finland on terror groups

Crucial meeting

Later on Tuesday, the Turkish president will take part in a four-way meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The talks are expected to focus on offers from the Nordic countries to join the 30-member military alliance.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO last month, a move prompted by Russia’s offensive against Ukraine, which began Feb. 24.

But Türkiye, a longtime member of the alliance, has voiced objections to offers of membership, criticizing countries for tolerating and even supporting terror groups.

Erdogan said Ankara expects to see actions rather than empty words from Sweden and Finland on terror groups.

READ MORE:
Türkiye’s concerns ‘all legitimate and must be taken into account’, says NATO chief

Source: AA