Turkey, Sweden, Finland to Discuss NATO membership in Brussels
A trilateral meeting is to be held in Brussels to discuss NATO membership of Sweden and Finland after Turkish relations with the nordic country have reached a new low.
A trilateral meeting of the delegations from Turkey, Sweden, and Finland about NATO membership will be held in Brussels.
Following the outbreak of the Ukraine war, Sweden and Finland both submitted applications to join NATO last year. However, their bids for accession require the unanimous approval of all 30 NATO member states to be considered. Hungary and Turkey are the only countries that have not yet approved the applications.
Rallies attacking the Turkish leadership in Stockholm and the burning of the holy Quran have poured oil onto the fire and further deepened the rift and raised tensions between Turkey and Sweden.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned following the events that the relations with the nordic country have reached a new low.
Ankara condemned the incident and announced that it will not support Sweden in its NATO bid, while its [Turkey's] position on Finland might be different if it applies to the coalition alone.
Read: Stoltenberg tells Turkey to ratify Sweden, Finland NATO membership
This promised “rapid accession” was unexpectedly stalled due to Ankara’s position, amid strained relations between Ankara and Sweden due to several incidents that cast doubt on Sweden's chances of gaining Turkey's approval.
Finland may depart with Sweden over NATO application
On January 23, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara may decide to make a "different" decision on Finland's bid for NATO membership - as opposed to that of Sweden's - that would inevitably "shock" Sweden.
On January 24, as diplomatic tensions between Sweden and Turkey reached an all-time high, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto stated that Finland could consider joining NATO without Sweden.
Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said on January 30 that his country still hopes to join NATO together with Sweden after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's earlier remarks that Ankara could accept Finland without its Nordic neighbor.
However, even though Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin reaffirmed earlier in February that Finland intends to join NATO alongside Sweden, high-level sources revealed on February 8 that all Finnish parties, bar one, are prepared for their country to move forward alone.