Politics, World

Turkish, US presidents discuss bilateral ties, regional issues

Top agenda items of NATO summit also evaluated by Erdogan and Biden during phone talk

Burak Bir   | 28.06.2022
Turkish, US presidents discuss bilateral ties, regional issues

ANKARA 

Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his US counterpart Joe Biden held a phone conversation on Tuesday, discussing several issues, including the NATO summit in Madrid.

"The call addressed regional matters and the issues concerning the Türkiye-US relations," according to a statement by Türkiye's Communications Directorate.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the NATO summit agenda, it added.

Speaking in the capital Ankara before leaving for the high-level meeting, Erdogan said: "We had a talk with Mr. (US President Joe) Biden this morning. He stated his desire to meet again this evening or tomorrow. We answered him that 'it is possible to meet again'."

Later in the day, the Turkish president will attend a four-way meeting alongside Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Swedish premier Magdalena Andersson and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Nordic bids to join the 30-member military alliance.

Sweden, along with Finland, formally applied to join NATO last month, a decision spurred by Russia's war on Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24.

But Türkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, has voiced objections to the membership bids, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.

According to a White House statement, Biden "looks forward to seeing President Erdogan at the NATO Summit in Madrid where leaders will discuss the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for Transatlantic security and other threats to the Alliance such as terrorism, as well as take historic decisions to strengthen the Alliance’s collective defense and security."

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