Surprise security meeting in Istanbul between US, Turkey
U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan made a surprise visit to Turkey on Sunday to talk about issues such as “"progress on NATO accession for Finland and Sweden" and the latest in Russia-Ukraine war.
Sullivan met with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's chief adviser Ibrahim Kalin in Istanbul on Sunday in a meeting that was unannounced to the media beforehand.
The meeting between the top advisers addressed “the Turkey-U.S. bilateral political and economic relations, the avenues of cooperation in the area of defense industry, the Ukraine war, the Aegean and the Mediterranean, the NATO membership processes of Sweden and Finland and regional matters including the developments in the southern Caucasus,” a statement from the Turkish presidency said.
Sweden, Finland and Turkey signed a deal on 28 June to clear the way for the two Nordic countries to become NATO members in return for their assurance to prosecute and extradite Kurdish activists allegedly affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), not support the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Northern Syria, and to end arms export bans imposed on Turkey after its occupation of Syrian territories in 2019.
President Erdogan on Saturday complained about the lack of progress in the commitments by Sweden and Finland saying "The ultimate decision will be given by the Parliament on behalf of our nation. We will maintain our determined stance in this issue till the promises made to our country have been fulfilled."
Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu said the two officials also talked about the importance of emphasizing diplomatic efforts to end the Ukraine War, which threatens global security and stability, on the basis of international law.
During the meeting, Sullivan emphasized Turkey's key role in NATO and underlined that the two allies should act in harmony and solidarity against common security risks while Kalin reinstated that Turkey would protect its rights and interests in the Aegean and Mediterranean issues blaming Greece for the tensions in the region.