Finland, Sweden and Turkey to join NATO… “There is progress, but… ”
FINLAND AND SWEDEN HELD TALKS WITH TURKEY ON THE ISSUE OF NATO ACCESSION ON 20 MARCH (LOCAL TIME), BUT NO AGREEMENT WAS REACHED.
Nato will hold a summit next week in Madrid, Spain.
NATO expects Finland and Sweden to join as soon as possible, given the intensification of Russia’s offensive against Ukraine.
However, Turkish deputy foreign minister Cadet Onal said that “we are not bound by the deadline” and that he had no intention of rushing the negotiations.
In response, Sweden’s foreign minister Ann Linde said: “we hope that the negotiations will go well, but we are also preparing for a situation that will take a long time.”
Linde is a Swedish politician from the Social Democratic Party who has served as Minister for Foreign Affairs in the government.
Finnish negotiator petri hakarainen said after the talks in Brussels on Tuesday that “there has been clear progress on some issues, but there is still more work to be done to understand each other.”
Reportedly, Turkish representative Ibrahim carlin said: “going forward, negotiations will depend on how quickly Finland and Sweden take action in what direction and how quickly they take action against turkey’s demands.”
Finland and Sweden, spurred on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month, abandoned their long-held neutral line and applied to join NATO.
However, the brakes were put on when turkey expressed its opposition to the support of the kurds, an independent force in turkey, as a problem.
Turkey defines Kurdish militants seeking independence from their country as terrorists.
To join nato, the regulations require all 30 member states to approve.
The negotiations between the three countries were arranged by NATO secretary-general Jens stoltenberg.
A NATO official said the talks lasted more than 5 hours and focused on the security concerns raised by turkey.
Stoltenberg said the talks were “constructive” and that “turkey’s questioning should be treated as a legitimate security concern for terrorism.” he also said the consultation would continue for a few more days.
Jens Stoltenberg is a Norwegian politician who has been serving as the 13th Secretary General of NATO since 2014.