Swedish PM's meeting with Erdogan paused for EU talks

AFP - [email protected]
Swedish PM's meeting with Erdogan paused for EU talks
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (top-C), Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson (R) react during a meeting, on the eve of a NATO summit, in Vilnius on July 10, 2023. (Photo by Yves Herman/ AFP

Monday night's crunch Nato talks between Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were paused after just two hours, so that Erdogan could meet the President of the EU Council.


The meeting with the Charles Michel, President of the EU Council, came after Erdogan surprised negotiators for Sweden and Nato by  pegging its acceptance of Sweden's Nato membership to Turkey's long-stalled ambitions to join the EU.

Earlier Erdogan rattled preparations for Nato's Vilnius meeting by declaring that he would only back Sweden's candidacy for the Western alliance if European Union members -- most of whom are also Nato allies -- agree to revive Turkey's negotiations to join the EU.

The Turkish leader held talks with Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Swedish Premier Ulf Kristersson in Vilnius in a push to get Ankara to lift its year-long block on Stockholm.

Diplomats said that meeting was then put on hold while Erdogan sat down with European Council head Michel.   


It was unclear what Michel, who heads the body representing the EU's 27 leaders, could offer to Erdogan to help break the deadlock.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, an EU and Nato heavyweight, has insisted there is no link between Stockholm's quest to join the Western military alliance and Ankara's long-stalled application to enter the EU.


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