Zelensky visits Türkiye to discuss the war and visits Slovakia as part of a tour before the NATO summit

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in Istanbul on Friday, the eve of the 500th anniversary of the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and with the approach of a crucial NATO summit.

“We need honesty in our relations” with NATO, Zelensky told reporters Thursday in Prague.

He added that it was time to show “the courage and strength of this alliance”.

During this first visit of the Ukrainian, head of state to Türkiye since February 2022, Zelensky and Erdoğan will discuss in particular.

This visit also comes four days before the opening of the annual NATO summit in Vilnius on July 11 and 12, during which alliance leaders hope to persuade Ankara to lift its veto over Sweden’s accession to the bloc.

Zelensky was in Prague on Thursday after a visit to Bulgaria to discuss joining the alliance and request an acceleration of the delivery of weapons by the main munitions-producing country, at the height of Kiev’s counter-offensive.

Zelensky said he wanted Ukraine to receive a clear signal that it would join NATO, noting that Kiev had one way or another not received an invitation.

“I consider it necessary to show the strength and unity of the coalition,” he added.

The allies are still seeking a common approach on the security guarantees they are willing to give Kiev and on inviting Ukraine to join NATO at the appropriate time.

The Ukrainian President and the Office of the President of Slovakia said that Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Slovakia, Friday, to meet President Zuzana Caputova, as part of a tour that includes several NATO member states to gather support for Kiev’s bid to join the military alliance.

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