Turkey, US to discuss Nordic stance on NATO

Senior Turkish and American officials have held an in-person meeting to discuss the ongoing process for Sweden and Finland to join NATO, as well as current regional issues in Ukraine, the southern Caucasus and the Turkish-Greek escalation in the Aegean.

A statement issued by the presidency informed that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s chief foreign policy advisor, İbrahim Kalın, held an in-person meeting with U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Oct. 2 in Istanbul.

“The meeting held at the Presidential Pavilion at Yıldız Palace in Istanbul addressed the Türkiye-U.S. bilateral political and economic relations, the avenues of cooperation in the area of the defense industry, the Ukraine war, the Aegean and the Mediterranean, the NATO membership processes of Sweden and Finland, and regional matters including the developments in the southern Caucasus,” the statement said.

The expectation about increasing the avenues of cooperation between the two countries with the implementation of the Strategic Mechanism was mutually voiced at the meeting, stressing that the completion of the sale of the F-16s to Türkiye would serve the two countries’ strategic interests.

“Türkiye’s key role within NATO was emphasized, and it was noted that the allies should act in solidarity and harmony against common security risks and all the terror threats. It was pointed out that Türkiye would never hesitate to defend its rights and interests in the Aegean and the Mediterranean and that Greece’s aggressive acts against international law are unacceptable,” the statement read.

The importance of focusing on diplomatic efforts to bring an immediate end to the Ukraine war, which threatens global security and stability, on the basis of international law was underlined.

Sullivan, for his part, expressed his appreciation for Turkiye’s efforts to improve global food security by helping to facilitate the export of Ukrainian grain and its diplomatic work to secure the release of Ukrainian prisoners of war, including two American citizens, held by Russia, informed a statement issued by his spokesperson.

“They also discussed regional security issues, including their support for peace negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the importance of dialogue and diplomacy to resolve any disagreements in the eastern Mediterranean, and progress on NATO accession for Finland and Sweden,” it noted.