Turkish, US presidential aides address NATO bids of Sweden, Finland in phone call

Global food crisis, energy security, bilateral relations, developments in Syria, Ukraine also discussed.

Turkish, US presidential aides address NATO bids of Sweden, Finland in phone call

In a phone call, Turkiye's presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin and US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan exchanged views on the NATO bids of Sweden and Finland, among other issues, diplomatic sources said on Monday.

The global food crisis, energy security, bilateral relations, and developments in Syria and Ukraine were also discussed, added the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

During the call, it was underlined that prolonging the Ukraine-Russian war threatens global food security and consequently creates severe challenges for the global economy.

According to the sources, the Turkish side also stressed that especially if they seek NATO membership, it is essential for Sweden and Finland to embrace NATO’s principles, which include the joint struggle against threats, including terrorism.

The PKK/YPG terror group poses a menace to the territorial integrity of Turkiye and Syria and thus Ankara will continue its resolute war on terror, the Turkish side emphasized.

Since 2016, Ankara has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents there: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).

Turkiye has also said that if more is not done to address the cross-border PKK/YPG threat, it will step in to do the job.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

Similarly, the call stressed that Turkiye remains adamant in protecting its own interests in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean and in pursuing a constructive approach based on peace and stability.

The importance of returning to the negotiating table for a peaceful solution to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine was also underscored.

More than 4,000 civilians have been killed and nearly 5,000 others injured in Ukraine since the war began on Feb. 24, according to UN estimates. The true toll is believed to be much higher.

Over 6.7 million people have fled to other countries, while more than 7.7 million have been internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.

Hüseyin Demir

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