Polish, Turkish presidents discuss Baltic states ahead of NATO summit

Andrzej Duda and Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the meeting in 2017. Jakub Kamiński/PAP

Polish President Andrzej Duda held a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Monday to discuss Turkey's support for NATO plans for the Baltic region, before flying to London for a NATO summit, Duda's chief aide has said.

Polish presidential aide Krzysztof Szczerski, who is accompanying Duda for the meeting of NATO leaders in London, said the conversation had been held on Duda's initiative.

"The conversation was very good, President Duda counts on it being continued during the summit in London," Szczerski said.

President Erdogan told a press conference in Ankara on Tuesday that during the telephone conversation with Duda he had agreed to meet him and the leaders of the Baltic states in London to discuss the problem of Turkish support for NATO plans concerning the Baltic region.

Earlier, Erdogan had threatened that Turkey would oppose NATO's Baltic defence plans if its allies in NATO did not recognise groups that Turkey is fighting against as terrorists.

The head of Poland's National Security Bureau (BBN), Pawel Soloch, said the 30-minute phone call had underscored that Poland understands Turkey's security interests and that as far as the NATO forum is concerned, Poland's position concerning Turkey has never been radical.

He said the conversation, "was concentrated around the most important issues and concerned the alliance as such, the values that it serves, and also the London summit and the aims for which the meeting stands - maintaining alliance solidarity."

"Detailed issues were not discussed," Soloch said.

"President Erdogan expressed a will to avert any misunderstandings; our president called for alliance unity, which was met with understanding by the Turkish president," Soloch continued. "The two presidents agreed to meet during the summit in the presence of Baltic state officials."