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International relations

Turkey blocks start of NATO entry talks for Sweden and Finland

Biden confident about Nordic countries' prospects despite Erdogan's objection

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his ruling party at the Grand National Assembly in Ankara on May 18.   © Turkish presidency

ISTANBUL -- Turkey on Wednesday blocked the start of negotiations on the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO, according to online news outlet Middle East Eye, signaling trouble ahead for the two Nordic nations' applications.

Turkey voted against starting the talks at a NATO ambassadorial-level meeting in Brussels, the London-based organization said. The countries formally applied that day to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization -- a decision, spurred by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, that marked a shift from their long-held neutrality.

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