Finland's president held "open and direct" talks with Turkey's Erdogan

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Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson gives a news conference during a visit to the U.S. Capitol with Finland's President Sauli Niinisto for meetings about their countries' applications to join the NATO alliance, in Washington, U.S. May 19, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis

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May 21 (Reuters) - Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said on Saturday he had held "open and direct" talks with Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan to discuss Finland's bid for NATO membership.

Erdogan has publicly questioned whether Finland and Sweden should be allowed to join the military alliance.

"I stated that as NATO allies Finland and Turkey will commit to each other's security and our relationship will thus grow stronger," Niinisto tweeted after the call.

"Finland condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Close dialogue continues."

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Reporting by Essi Lehto, editing by Terje Solsvik

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