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Turkey's Erdogan ups pressure on US, Sweden ahead of NATO summit

Turning up the heat before his critical meeting with the Swedish premier on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his country’s stiff demands from Stockholm.
ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images

ANKARA — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan boosted pressure on Stockholm on Friday ahead of his critical Monday meeting with Sweden’s premier Ulf Kristersson over the Nordic nation’s pending NATO bid.

In a televised address in Istanbul, Erdogan jabbed at Sweden and other Western capitals that have been pressing to finalize the Swedish accession before NATO’s annual summit on July 11-12. “The essence of the alliance is the institution of mutual trust and solidarity. Without it, it’s meaningless to talk about other subjects,” Erdogan said.

“Those who advise us should first reply to these questions frankly: How can Turkey trust a country where terrorists wander around on its streets?” he added.

During his meeting with Kristersson at the White House earlier this week, US President Joe Biden said his country “fully, fully, fully” supports Sweden’s membership and that he was “anxiously looking forward” to it.

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