Sat, 23 September 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

Turkey's Erdogan meets EU chief over Sweden NATO bid

Update : 11 Jul 2023, 01:23

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met EU chief Charles Michel on the eve of a NATO summit Monday, diplomats said, after Ankara pegged Sweden's NATO membership to Turkey's EU ambitions.

Earlier Erdogan had rattled preparations for NATO's Vilnius meeting by declaring that he would only back Sweden's candidacy for the Western alliance if European Union members -- most of whom are also NATO allies -- agree to revive Turkey's negotiations to join the EU.

The Turkish leader held talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Swedish Premier Ulf Kristersson in Vilnius in a push to get Ankara to lift its year-long block on Stockholm.

Diplomats said that meeting was then put on hold while Erdogan sat down with European Council head Michel.

It was unclear what Michel, who heads the body representing the EU's 27 leaders, could offer to Erdogan to help break the deadlock.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, an EU and NATO heavyweight, has insisted there is no link between Stockholm's quest to join the Western military alliance and Ankara's long-stalled application to enter the EU.

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