Swedish PM hoping to resolve Ankara dispute before NATO summit
The Swedish Prime Minister says officials from Sweden, Finland, and Turkey met in Brussels for a new round of talks about accession to NATO.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on Monday expressed hope that Ankara's objections to Sweden and Finland's accession to NATO would be resolved prior to the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid.
The Summit will take place in the Spanish city of Madrid from June 28 till June 30. The leaders of Sweden, Finland, and Turkey are expected to meet in Madrid on Tuesday before the launch of the Summit.
"Turkey has raised some questions regarding Sweden and Finland's applications, and our ambition is to come to an understanding on the raised issues together with Finland and NATO," Andersson told a joint press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
She pointed out that "Earlier today, officials from Sweden, Finland, and Turkey met here in Brussels for a new round of talks, and my strong hope is that this dialogue can be successfully concluded in the near future, ideally before the Summit."
According to the Swedish Prime Minister, "This would make it possible to immediately launch Sweden and Finland's accession processes, and such an outcome would be good news for Sweden and Finland, but for NATO and the security of Europe."
On May 18, three months after the start of the Ukraine war, Finland and Sweden submitted their NATO membership applications, abandoning decades of neutrality.
Turkey blocked the consideration of their applications, with Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan saying that Ankara could not consent as long as they continue to support Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Fahrettin Altun, the head of media and communications in the Turkish presidential office, said earlier on Monday that Ankara would support the accession process of Sweden and Finland in the event of both countries taking "permanent and concrete steps."