A coffee break served as a turning point in the difficult negotiations, says the Foreign Minister
Tense negotiations had been going on for weeks after Ankara announced in May that it would not support the two Nordic nations ‘applications to join the US-led military bloc, accusing them of harboring members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which it believes . a terrorist organization, and to support arms embargoes against Turkey.
The sides held several meetings in Ankara and Brussels, but failed to find a common ground on a number of issues. So when the agreement was reached ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid on Tuesday, it also came as a surprise to Foreign Minister Haavisto, the diplomat told Reuters on Wednesday.
The “intensive” The top-level negotiations in the Spanish capital lasted for two hours, but the leaders of Turkey, Finland and Sweden were still struggling to agree on any problems and only repeated their previous positions, the minister recalled.
“And then we had a coffee and as always, during the coffee break, fantastic ideas came up and then in the end, towards the end of the meeting, it was easier to come up with.” in Haavisto.
He told the same story to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo on Thursday and called it the coffee break “a turning point” in the discussions. While the leaders sipped their brew “found creative ideas and was able to change the text to find a mutually satisfactory solution,” said the Minister.
The role of coffee as a cohesive factor between Turkey and Finland turns out to be more than just a coincidence. According to the International Coffee Association, Finland has the second highest per capita consumption of the beverage. The Turks are also well-known coffee lovers, with their internationally popular “Turkish coffee” – made in a special cezve jug using finely ground beans, without filtration.
According to Haavisto, the main challenge in the talks with Turkey was to bridge differences over what each country defines as “terrorism.” But in the end Helsinki, Stockholm and Ankara “can distinguish these issues in the statement and which actually (led) us to the conclusion,” he said.
The most important promises that the Nordic nation made to Turkey were to take action against groups that Ankara considers to be “terrorists” and lift an arms embargo.
“The important thing is that promises come true,” Erdogan insisted that if that did not happen, Helsinki and Stockholm’s applications would simply not be forwarded to the Turkish Parliament for ratification.
Finland and Sweden, which stayed out of NATO during the Cold War, applied to join the bloc on May 18, citing concerns about their security following the launch of the Russian military offensive in Ukraine in late February.