Erdogan: No progress made in Sweden's joining NATO
Stockholm should take "concrete actions" to meet Ankara's concerns.
On Saturday, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signalled that no progress has been made in Sweden's joining NATO, stressing that Stockholm should take "concrete actions" to meet Ankara's concerns, according to Erdogan's office.
Erdogan, in a phone call with Swedish prime minister Magdalena Andersson, said that "Sweden should take steps regarding such fundamental matters as combatting terrorism," according to a statement, pointing to their long-standing support for the PKK, or the Kurdistan's Workers' Party.
Turkey "wanted to see binding commitments on these issues together with concrete and clear action."
Finland and Sweden on Monday discussed their stalled NATO bids with Turkey in Brussels. However, Turkey overruled hopes that there will be any resolving disputes before an alliance summit next week.
On her part, Andersson said the conversation with the Turkish president went well.
She tweeted that they had "agreed on the importance of making progress ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid next week, where I look forward to meeting President Erdogan and other allied leaders".
The phone call comes after Erdogan discussed the two countries' bid with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.
Erdogan also told Stoltenberg that "Sweden and Finland should take concrete and sincere steps" against outlawed Kurdish militants, the presidency said.
"We agreed to continue the talks in Brussels and Madrid next week," he tweeted.
NATO tries to resolve Turkish tensions with Sweden, Finland
NATO has been attempting to resolve tensions Turkey faces with Finland and Sweden, as Ankara has been blocking the way for the 2 countries to join the alliance, according to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday.
"The aim is to solve those issues as soon as possible to be able to welcome Finland and Sweden as full members," Stoltenberg said at a joint press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.
"Therefore we are working hard and actively on this issues on close consultations with Stockholm with Helsinki and off course with our NATO ally Turkey," he added.
On May 18, Finland and Sweden submitted their applications to join NATO, abandoning their neutrality policies, implying a shift in the security situation in Europe. Turkey, however, blocked the process due to the two countries' continuous support for the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which has, for long, conducted terrorist activities against Turkey.
Read more: Turkey's demands to NATO revealed