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Blinken calls Turkey’s FM Hakan Fidan, Sweden’s NATO bid tops agenda

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Turkey's new Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan also touched upon bilateral relations and defense cooperation.
Turkey's newly appointed Foreign Affairs Minister Hakan Fidan delivers a speech.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Turkey’s new Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on Thursday to congratulate him on his appointment, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Blinken and Fidan discussed regional matters and the importance of the US-Turkey relationship, including "our longstanding defense cooperation." The pair also highlighted the importance of NATO unity, and Blinken emphasized the need for Sweden to join the NATO alliance "as soon as possible." "Secretary Blinken reiterated the importance of the [Turkey]-sponsored Black Sea Grain Initiative," Miller added.

Anadolu news agency reported that the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia was also brought up during the call.

The Biden administration is widely expected to continue to crank up pressure on Ankara to drop its objections to Sweden’s accession to NATO ahead of the alliance’s next summit on July 12 in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius. Last week, President Joe Biden called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to congratulate him on his May 28 electoral victory, using the occasion to press Sweden’s case.

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