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Turkish Top Diplomat in Brussels for Talks With Allies

Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan is visiting Brussels to attend the NATO foreign ministerial meetings and hold talks with allies on regional and international issues, including the ongoing crisis in the Middle East, as well as on the alliance’s prospected expansion with Sweden.

The NATO foreign ministers met at a moment when the world is troubled by two big wars in Europe and the Middle East, namely the Russian occupation of Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas conflict. NATO’s response to the conflict in Eurasia and the prospected support to Ukraine are the top issues the ministers will discuss at the NATO-Ukraine Council to be convened on Nov. 29.

On the sidelines of the meetings, Fidan held his first bilateral meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He was also scheduled to meet United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his counterparts from Estonia, Albania, Canada, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. NATO-aspirant Sweden’s Foreign Minister Tobias Billström did also join the NATO meeting.

Sweden’s bid to join the alliance was also on the agenda of the ministers. Its accession protocol is believed to be approved in the coming days at the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish Parliament before it is voted at the General Assembly.

Speaking of the Middle East, Türkiye has long been calling the Western world to support calls for an immediate ceasefire and resumption of negotiations for a lasting peace. The NATO meeting comes at a moment when Israel and Hamas agreed to exchange prisoners with hostages in return for a humanitarian pause in the nearly two-month-long armed conflict.

Fidan was in Barcelona on Nov. 27 to attend the Unity for Mediterranean meeting, which has brought the foreign ministers of some prominent Islamic countries with their European counterparts to discuss the situation in the Middle East. Fidan held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Ireland, Italy, Albania, Netherlands and Spain on the margins of the summit.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News