Turkey “expects written response” from Finland and Sweden to NATO concerns

said on Wednesday that it was awaiting a written response from and to concerns about the accession of the two to NATO.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated that Turkey had sent its questions to Finland and Sweden in writing and was awaiting a written answer.

accuses Sweden and Finland of accommodating members of the PKK of the Kurdish militant group and has also condemned the countries’ previous decisions to ban arms exports to Turkey because of its involvement in the Syrian war.

Not for three-way discussions

Turkey has threatened to postpone Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership for up to a year. All new members must be accepted by all 30 NATO members.

On Wednesday, Ankara also rejected NATO’s initiative to hold trilateral talks with Finland and Sweden on their applications, the Financial Times reported. According to a NATO official interviewed by the newspaper, the talks were scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

However, according to the authority, NATO is not desperate or panicked after Turkey’s refusal. The establishment of Finnish and Swedish members is still pending "within the framework of diplomatic options," the source told the newspaper.

Kaikkonen will meet with NATO colleagues

Minister of Defense of Finland Antti Kaikkonen (Cen) will attend a dinner meeting of NATO defense ministers on Wednesday evening in Brussels.

NATO Secretary General before the meeting refused to commit itself to a deadline for Sweden and Finland to join NATO. Tayyip Erdogan prevents applications for membership because he accuses the Nordic states of supporting Kurdish militants who are considered terrorists by Turkey.

"My goal is to solve this problem as soon as possible, but since we are involved in several nations in this process, we cannot say exactly when we will solve it." Stoltenberg said.

Due to Turkey’s concerns "this will take a little longer than we originally expected," he said.

Erdogan announced Wednesday that he will not retreat.

"We will certainly not change our position until Sweden and Finland take clear, concrete and determined steps in the fight against terrorism." In his speech, Erdogan said he would rule his party to lawmakers.

Earlier on Wednesday, the British Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace said in that the ambition of the Madrid NATO summit is certain "that Sweden and Finland are successfully taking the next step towards joining NATO".

"I think it is very important that we listen to and understand Turkey’s concerns and towards a position where Turkey supports accession and that we can really alleviate those concerns." Wallace said.

Source: The Nordic Page

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