US, Turkish Presidents Discuss Bilateral Ties, NATO Cooperation: White House

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – US President Joe Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a telephone conversation discussing bilateral relations as well as the cooperation within the framework of NATO to enhance transatlantic security, the White House said in a statement.

“President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. called President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today to congratulate him on his re-election as President of Turkey,” the statement reads. “They expressed their shared commitment to continue working together as close partners to deepen cooperation between our countries and people.”

“They also discussed their readiness as NATO Allies to address regional and global challenges, including strengthening transatlantic security at the NATO Summit in Vilnius,” according to the White House, TASS reported.

The 2023 NATO Summit is scheduled to be hosted by the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius on July 11-12.

Biden told journalists on Monday that he earlier discussed with Erdogan Sweden’s possible accession to NATO adding that he intended to continue consultations with the Turkish president next week.

Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO on May 18, 2022, but Turkey immediately blocked their bids to get into the US-led bloc, demanding that the Nordic countries declare Kurdish organizations as terror groups and extradite individuals accused of terrorism or complicity in the 2016 failed coup attempt in the country.

In order to settle these issues, Turkey, Finland and Sweden signed a memorandum before a NATO summit in 2022, stipulating specific steps that these two Nordic countries should take as viewed by Turkey.

The Turkish parliament approved a bill on ratifying a protocol on Finland’s NATO membership on March 30. Helsinki was officially admitted into the North Atlantic alliance as its 31st member on April 4.

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