NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg leaves today for a three-day visit to Turkey. In addition to the war in Ukraine, the topics of the planned meetings will likely be Turkey’s position on NATO’s northern expansion to include Sweden and Finland, as well as tensions with NATO’s neighbor and partner Greece.
Tonight Stoltenberg will meet with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Istanbul, as the ministry in Ankara announced. A joint press conference is planned. The NATO chief is due to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tomorrow.
Lack of agreement by Hungary and Turkey
Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership in mid-May as a result of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. All 30 NATO members must ratify their membership. 28 of them have already done so – only Hungary and Turkey are still missing.
Erdogan has repeatedly warned that Turkey could block Sweden’s membership in particular, citing alleged support for groups that Turkey considers terrorist organizations.