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Erdogan tells Sweden, NATO leaders that Turkey awaits steps for NATO bids

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By Reuters
Erdogan tells Sweden, NATO leaders that Turkey awaits steps for NATO bids
Erdogan tells Sweden, NATO leaders that Turkey awaits steps for NATO bids   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022   -  

<div> <p><span class="caps">ISTANBUL</span> -President Tayyip Erdogan told the heads of <span class="caps">NATO</span> and Sweden on Saturday that Nordic countries must take binding steps to address Turkey’s concerns and overcome its opposition to their membership bids, Turkish state media reported.</p> <p>Sweden and Finland applied for <span class="caps">NATO</span> membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. </p> <p>But Ankara surprised allies in opposing the bids on grounds it says Stockholm and Helsinki support Kurdish militants like the Kurdistan Workers Party (<span class="caps">PKK</span>), and they maintain arms embargos on Turkey. It wants reversals on both fronts. </p> <p>On one call, Erdogan told Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson that Turkey wants to see the “concrete and clear applications of binding commitments Sweden will make” before backing its bid, Anadolu agency reported.</p> <p>Andersson said she had a good call with Erdogan. “Agreed on importance of making progress in run-up to the <span class="caps">NATO</span> Summit in Madrid next week, where I look forward to meeting President Erdogan and other Allied leaders,” she said on Twitter.</p> <p><span class="caps">NATO</span> Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also described on Twitter his separate call as good and said he and Erdogan agreed to continue talks over the Nordic states’ membership bids at a <span class="caps">NATO</span> summit in Madrid this week.</p> </div>