Top Turkish, British officials discuss NATO, Ukraine war

Turkish presidential spokesman Kalin, UK's national security adviser Barrow also exchange views on defense cooperation over phone.

Top Turkish, British officials discuss NATO, Ukraine war

Türkiye’s presidential spokesman and the UK prime minister's national security adviser discussed bilateral issues and global developments including the war in Ukraine in a phone call on Friday.

Ibrahim Kalin and Tim Barrow exchanged views on the political and economic relations between Türkiye and the UK, cooperation in the defense industry, the Russia-Ukraine war, and NATO bids of Sweden and Finland, according a statement by the Turkish presidency.

Kalin expressed satisfaction on cooperation between the two strategic partners and NATO allies in different fields, especially the defense industry.

They agreed that the two countries should find new cooperation opportunities.

The phone call also focused on Türkiye's role in the NATO military alliance, with Kalin emphasizing that allies should act in harmony and solidarity against common security risks, new challenges and all terrorist threats.

Turning to the Nordic NATO bids, Kalin said the Stockholm and Helsinki should fulfill their commitments under a trilateral memorandum, and that Türkiye is closely following the steps taken in this regard.

Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership in response to Russia's war on Ukraine, but faced opposition from Türkiye, which accuses them of supporting terrorist groups such as the PKK.

The two Nordic countries signed a memorandum with Türkiye in June for cooperation in the latter's fight against terrorism. Ankara says it will greenlight their accession only if they address its concerns.

During the phone call, concern was also expressed over escalation in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, and the end of negotiations for a cease-fire. It was emphasized that the extension of war could seriously damage global peace and stability.

The officials also underlined the importance of diplomacy to find a solution while reaffirming the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Pointing out the responsibility assumed by Türkiye in this regard, Kalin stressed that Ankara will resolutely continue its attempts for a diplomatic solution, including the extension of Istanbul grain deal.

Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul on July 22 to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which paused after the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February.

Russia has complained that its own grain and fertilizer exports continue to be blocked.

The parties are currently negotiating a possible extension and expansion beyond its Nov. 19 deadline, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying Ankara is determined to transfer Russian grain and fertilizer to less developed countries.

Hüseyin Demir

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