The Associated Press
ELMAU, Germany (AP) — The Latest on the G-7 summit, the annual meeting of the leading democratic economies, which this year is being held in the Bavarian Alps in Germany; and on the NATO summit in Madrid, where leaders begin gathering later Tuesday:
ISTANBUL — Turkey’s president says he spoke with U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday morning and may meet with him at this week’s NATO summit in Madrid.
Biden “expressed his desire to get together again tonight or tomorrow and we said ‘possible’,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a press conference in Ankara ahead of his departure to Spain.
He said the pair would discuss Turkey’s requests for upgraded F-16s but said there were “diversionary tactics” at play. He didn’t elaborate.
Erdogan is also infuriated by U.S. military bases in Greece and says the U.S. has been fixated on Turkey’s purchase of Russian-made S-400 missiles — a step that led to Ankara being kicked off the F-35 stealth jet program.
Erdogan confirmed he plans to meet with the leaders of Sweden and Finland, along with NATO’s secretary general, to continue discussions on Turkey’s objections to the two Nordic countries’ NATO membership bids.
Ankara has objected to Sweden and Finland’s bid to join NATO, citing what it considers to be their lax approach toward groups Turkey deems national security threats, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and its Syrian extension. American support for Syrian Kurdish fighters in combatting the Islamic State group has also enraged Turkey for years.
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Western leaders are “working on” a plan to free millions of tons of grain stuck in war-torn Ukraine due to Russia’s invasion.
Vast amounts of corn and other grains are stranded in Ukraine — one of the world’s largest producers — and because Russian forces have blocked the country’s ports.
Asked by reporters at the start of a Tuesday meeting at the Group of Seven summit what was being done to solve the problem, Johnson said officials were trying to find a solution.
“We’re all working on that,” Johnson said.
His comments came at the start of a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
U.S. President Joe Biden is leaving the Group of Seven summit in Germany earlier than scheduled due to bad weather.
Biden had been scheduled to deliver remarks during Tuesday’s closing session of the gathering of leaders of developed economies before flying by helicopter to Munich. From there, he would fly via Air Force One to Madrid for the NATO summit.
But the White House announced that with foggy conditions, low cloud and a chance of thunderstorms near the summit site, Biden would have to go by motorcade part of the way to Munich.
Ahead of his early departure, Biden met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi and summit host Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
After arriving in Madrid, the U.S. president is scheduled to meet separately with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and King Felipe VI and take part in the NATO summit’s opening dinner.
The Group of Seven developed economies are wrapping up a summit that aims to demonstrate a long-term commitment to Ukraine’s future, as its war with Russia grinds on.
The talks in Germany, which draw to a close Tuesday, want to make sure that Russia pays a high price for its invasion. The goal is also to alleviate a global hunger crisis and show unity against climate change.
The leaders of the U.S., Germany, France, Italy, the U.K., Canada and Japan on Monday pledged to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes.”
Later Tuesday, attention shifts to Spain, where a two-day NATO summit is being held in Madrid.
The leaders of the world’s most powerful military alliance open discussions Wednesday on increasing support for Ukraine’s fight against Russia and boosting forces on NATO’s eastern flank.
They also intend to set priorities for the coming decade, with a new focus on checking China’s growing international ambitions.
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