Top Turkish, Swedish, and Finnish diplomats meet amid Nordic countries' bid to join NATO

3 countries reviewed steps taken to address Türkiye’s security concerns and stressed our expectations, says Turkish foreign minister.

Top Turkish, Swedish, and Finnish diplomats meet amid Nordic countries' bid to join NATO

Seeking Türkiye’s greenlight to join NATO, Sweden and Finland’s foreign ministers on Tuesday met their Turkish counterpart on the sidelines of a meeting of the alliance in the Romanian capital Bucharest.

During the meeting, the trio "reviewed steps taken in line with the Trilateral Memorandum and stressed (Türkiye’s) expectations," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter, referring to a pact signed this June under which the Nordic countries work to address Türkiye’s security concerns.

Sweden's Tobias Billstrom and Finland's Pekka Haavisto met with Cavusoglu on the sidelines of the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Bucharest.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO in May, abandoning decades of military non-alignment, a decision spurred by Russia's war against Ukraine.

But Türkiye – a NATO member for over 70 years – voiced objections to their membership bids, accusing the two countries of tolerating and even supporting terror groups.

Türkiye and the two Nordic countries signed a memorandum in June at the NATO summit in Madrid to address Ankara's legitimate security concerns, paving the way for their eventual membership in the alliance.

Under the memorandum, Finland and Sweden extend their full support to Türkiye countering threats to its national security. To that effect, Helsinki and Stockholm are not to provide support to the terror group YPG/PYD or to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated 2016 coup in Türkiye.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is its Syrian offshoot.

Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have warned that Türkiye will not give the nod to the membership of Sweden and Finland until the memorandum is implemented.

Unanimous consent of all 30 existing allied countries is required for a country to join NATO.

Hüseyin Demir

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