Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Turkey holds diplomatic talks amid Finland, Sweden NATO blockade

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday told reporters he is engaging in “telephone diplomacy” with foreign leaders as nations look to circumvent Turkey’s blockade on Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership bid. Erdogan repeatedly said this week that he would not allow the two European nations to join the military alliance over anger at their ties to individuals Turkey has deemed “terrorists.” (https://news.yahoo.com/turkey-holds-diplomatic-talks-amid-143234848.html) Turkish media outlets reported that Erdogan once again doubled down on his blockade Friday after speaking with Netherland’s Prime Minister Mark Rutte. But despite his pronouncement this week that Sweden and Finland “shouldn’t bother” attempting to persuade him otherwise, he is reportedly set to hold calls Saturday with British and Finnish leaders. NATO military leaders have championed the move to include the two nations in the security alliance and said it would help shore up defenses against Russia by further identifying “vulnerabilities” on the European continent.

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