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Macron and Erdoğan discuss Finnish Nato membership

The French President's office says it told Turkey to respect Finland and Sweden's sovereign decisions.

French President Emmanuel Macron recently won a second term in office. Image: François Mori / EPA

Turkish President Recep Tayiip Erdoğan discussed Finland and Sweden's bid to join the Nato alliance with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, on Thursday.

Swedish news agency TT reports Erdoğan as saying that the two countries' contact with people and organisations linked to the PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the YPG, is in direct opposition to the spirit of Nato.

A statement (siirryt toiseen palveluun) issued by the French President's office said Macron stressed to Erdoğan the importance of respecting the sovereign decisions of Finland and Sweden resulting from a democratic process.

Finnish and Swedish diplomats began talks with Turkish representatives in the capital Ankara on Wednesday to discuss Turkey's opposition to the two Nordic nations joining Nato.

Turkey has issued a list of demands that must be met before talks can proceed.

The Nordic neighbours simultaneously submitted applications to join the alliance last week, but Turkey has blocked the initial processing of the bids.

The latest episode of Yle News' All Points North podcast asks what's Turkey's beef about Finland joining Nato.