Turkish and French Presidents Discuss Ukraine Crisis, NATO Expansion

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday held a phone call with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, where both sides discussed issues related to the Ukraine crisis, the prospects for NATO expansion and bilateral ties.

Erdogan reaffirmed Turkey’s support for “a just peace” between Russia and Ukraine as soon as possible. “Turkey would not step back from encouraging Russia and Ukraine to engage in dialogue and diplomacy to help end the war,” Turkey’s Communications Directorate said in a statement.

Both the presidents also discussed issues concerning Finland’s and Sweden’s applications to join NATO. 

“Contacts and ties of the two countries with the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PPK) people and institutions are not in line with the spirit of the alliance,” Erdogan told Macron.

Sweden and Finland sent delegations to Ankara for talks with Turkish authorities in an effort to resolve their differences with Turkey.

Turkey has threatened to block Sweden and Finland NATO bid, unless they cease supporting PKK, a group listed as a terrorist organization by numerous countries, including the US.

Turkey also blamed the two countries for supporting the Gulen movement accused of being behind the failed coup attempt in 2016.

Sweden and Finland have recently formally submitted their applications for NATO membership, but it requires the approval of all NATO alliance, including Turkey.

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