Turkey Resumes NATO Accession Talks With Sweden and Finland

Turkey Resumes NATO Accession Talks With Sweden and Finland

The negotiations between Turkey on the one hand and Sweden and Finland on the other hand on the NATO membership of the two countries will resume on 9 March. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevl├╝t Cavusoglu announced this at a press conference in Ankara.

He suggested the meeting might occur in Brussels, where NATO’s headquarters are.

Turkey has been blocking Sweden and Finland from joining the alliance for months, saying it supports allegedly supporting groups it labels terrorists, including the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Turkey continues to be particularly stubborn about Sweden and has already suggested the possibility of treating both countries’ accession separately. Still, Sweden and Finland are not in favour of that.

Cavusoglu stated that “Sweden has not yet taken adequate measures”, although he acknowledged progress was being made in the negotiations. Without adequate measures, “it is impossible for us to say ‘yes’ to Swedish NATO membership,” it said.

At the NATO summit in Madrid last year, the heads of state and governments of the thirty member states decided to invite Finland and Sweden to join the alliance. Thirty countries have signed the accession protocols, 28 of which have ratified them. Turkey and Hungary have not yet done so, but the Hungarian parliament will consider the issue in early March.

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