With high diplomatic agenda, Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to host NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and new Prime Minister of Sweden Ulf Kristersson during the first week of November.
According to Türkiye’s presidential sources, Erdogan is set to hold high diplomatic contacts with special focus on NATO.
Erdogan will receive NATO head Stoltenberg on Nov. 4 in Istanbul as the two officials are expected to address NATO membership process of Sweden and Finland, as well as the latest developments related to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
The Turkish president will then host the Swedish premier on Nov. 8 in Ankara to discuss bilateral ties and the Nordic country’s NATO bid.
After a phone call with the Turkish president on Wednesday, Sweden’s new prime minister said his government would comply with a trilateral memorandum on its NATO accession.
Kristersson said on Twitter that his conversation with Erdogan was constructive and that he was looking forward to visiting Ankara soon.
In response to a letter from Kristersson on Oct. 19, Erdogan had said he would welcome a visit to Türkiye by the new Swedish prime minister.
Finland and Sweden formally applied to join NATO in June, a decision spurred by Russia’s war on Ukraine.
However, Türkiye, a NATO member for over 70 years, voiced objections to the membership bids, criticizing the two countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.
The three countries signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding at NATO’s June summit in Madrid, which stipulates that Finland and Sweden will not provide support to the PKK/YPG — the PKK terrorist group’s Syrian offshoot — or the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the European Union, and the US, and is responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The PKK terror group’s Syrian branch YPG — openly sanctioned by several governments — also has a presence in Europe.
FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup in Türkiye of July 15, 2016, in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 wounded. Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.