Erdogan: Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO still in invitation

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Ankara has agreed to invite Sweden and Finland to join NATO, but that does not necessarily mean that it has agreed to their membership.

This came in a press statement after performing Friday prayers in a mosque in Istanbul.

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President Erdoğan stated that “the process of Sweden and Finland’s accession to the alliance is still at the invitation stage”, and that there are conditions that the two countries must implement.

He explained that Turkey included its conditions within the tripartite memorandum concluded with Sweden and Finland, on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid.

He stated that Turkey insisted on including the YPG, BYD and Gülen terrorist organizations in the memorandum, and not limiting the issue to the PKK organization.

He stressed that this reflects the success achieved by Turkey in this regard, which was pointed out by prominent international media.

The British Economist magazine said that “Erdogan returns home victorious” from the Madrid summit.

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On Tuesday, Turkey, Sweden and Finland signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding on the two countries’ membership in NATO, on the sidelines of the bloc’s summit in Madrid, in which the two countries pledged full cooperation with Turkey in the fight against terrorist organizations.

In response to a question whether the Turkish president will communicate with his Russian counterparts, Vladimir Putin and Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, about the global food crisis.

 He said work is underway to set a date for talks with the two leaders.

He explained that Turkey is ready to import grains, oils and other foodstuffs (from Ukraine) and re-export them to countries in need of these materials.

He stated that Turkey’s stockpile of grain in silos is at a good level, but there are countries in the world that are experiencing difficulties in securing their needs of these materials.

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He stressed that Turkey can play an intermediary role in delivering Ukrainian grain to countries facing difficulties in securing grain.

He pointed out that there are about 20 Turkish ships present in the area, ready to move at any moment.

While he expressed his hope that the issue would be resolved through a positive response from Putin and Zelensky after his talks with them.

It is noteworthy that on the initiative of Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, a “hot line” was established between Turkey, Russia and Ukraine to solve the crisis of the exit of cargo ships carrying grain from the latter’s ports.