NATO membership: Erdogan to discuss with Swedish and Finnish leaders on Tuesday

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet his Finnish counterpart and the Swedish Prime Minister in Madrid on Tuesday to discuss Sweden's and Finland's NATO candidacies blocked by Ankara, Helsinki announced.

NATO membership: Erdogan to discuss with Swedish and Finnish leaders on Tuesday

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet his Finnish counterpart and the Swedish Prime Minister in Madrid on Tuesday to discuss Sweden's and Finland's NATO candidacies blocked by Ankara, Helsinki announced.

This first high-level meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson will take place at the start of the NATO summit organized in the Spanish capital, in the presence of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, announced the Finnish presidency on Twitter.

New "negotiations" aimed at unblocking the Turkish veto are also scheduled for Monday at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Helsinki said.

Magdalena Andersson is also due to travel to Brussels to meet Mr. Stoltenberg ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid, her cabinet announced.

The Swedish leader had spoken by telephone with Mr. Erdogan on Saturday, but no progress had been made on this occasion according to Ankara.

Turkey had announced a surprise blocking of Swedish and Finnish candidacies in mid-May and the question must occupy an important part of the Madrid summit, which lasts from Tuesday evening to Thursday.

Ankara notably accuses Sweden of harboring militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which Ankara considers "terrorist".

Turkey also denounces the presence of supporters of the preacher Fethullah Gülen, whom it suspects of having orchestrated the coup attempt of July 2016.

It also demands the lifting of the blockades of arms exports decided against it by Stockholm and Helsinki after the Turkish military intervention in northern Syria in October 2019, the tightening of Swedish anti-terrorist legislation and the extradition of several people she calls terrorists.

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