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Newsline: Top U.S., Turkey Diplomats Meet in New York

The top diplomats from the U.S. and Turkey met in New York hours after the Turkish president doubled down on his objections to Sweden and Finland joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The meeting between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu continues a high-stakes series of negotiations between Turkey, European countries and the U.S. over Ankara’s opposition to the Nordic nations joining the alliance. Turkey is blocking the start of the accession talks for the two countries. All of the alliance’s 29 other members support a quick start to the talks, according to diplomats. “Turkey has been supporting the open door policy of NATO even before this war, but with regards to these possible candidates—already candidate countries—you know, we have also legitimate security concerns that they have been supporting terrorist organizations, and there are also export restrictions on defense products,” Mr. Cavusoglu said at the start of the meeting. Mr. Cavusoglu also said that officials should “overcome the differences through dialogue and diplomacy.” Mr. Blinken said, “This, of course, is a process, and we will work through that process as allies and as partners.” (https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/russia-ukraine-latest-news-2022-05-18/card/top-u-s-turkey-diplomats-meet-in-new-york-VrSFIGax7lsTh8y2GVLe) Turkey’s concerns have disrupted what might otherwise have been a smooth entry for the two countries into the alliance. All 30 existing members of the organization must unanimously approve any new members. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated on Wednesday that he wants Sweden and Finland to crack down on alleged Kurdish militants operating in the two countries.

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