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Zelensky to meet Erdogan Friday in Istanbul

Ukraine president says 'not the time' for elections
Source: Video Screenshot

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will travel to Turkey on Friday for the first time since Russia’s invasion for talks with counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Turkish presidency said the two leaders could stage a joint press conference after the talks in Istanbul.

The meeting is due to focus on an expiring deal to ship Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea as well as next week’s NATO summit.

But analysts expect Zelensky to push Erdogan to give a green light for Sweden’s membership of NATO ahead of the July 11-12 alliance summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.

Turkey is blocking Sweden’s candidacy because of a longstanding dispute about Stockholm’s perceived lax attitude toward alleged Kurdish militants living in the Nordic country.

Both Zelensky and Erdogan also want to extend a United Nations and Turkey-brokered deal with Russia under which Ukraine has been allowed to ship grain to global markets during the war.

Erdogan has tried to use his good working relations with both Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin to mediate an end to the war.

Turkey staged two early rounds of peace negotiations and is pushing for more talks.

But Western governments worry about NATO member Turkey’s growing economic ties with Russia and its resistance to the bloc’s expansion.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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