Turkey to tackle NATO bids with Swedish, Finnish FMs in Bucharest
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will meet his Swedish and Finnish counterparts on the sidelines of NATO's meeting in Bucharest.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, on Monday, that he would meet with his Swedish and Finnish counterparts on the sidelines of NATO's meeting in Bucharest on Tuesday to discuss their bid to join the alliance.
"We will come together with Swedish and Finnish foreign ministers tomorrow in Bucharest under a trilateral format," Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by the private NTV broadcaster.
Ankara has accused the two Nordic countries of providing a safe haven for outlawed Kurdish militants it considers "terrorists," and has refused to ratify their NATO membership despite a June agreement.
"The process is progressing positively, but there are still steps to be taken," Cavusoglu said.
"In fact, Sweden is the country that needs to take more steps," he added.
After the war in Ukraine, Finland and Sweden abandoned decades of military non-alignment and rushed to join NATO last May.
Despite #Turkey's refusal and #Russia's warning, #Finland and #Sweden are still adamant about joining the alliance, sparking fears for the future of #Europe.#NATO pic.twitter.com/AvuwyoU2Kg— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) May 18, 2022
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson traveled to Ankara earlier this month to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the hopes of gaining Turkey's agreement.
Prior to that trip, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who met with Cavusoglu and Erdogan in Istanbul, stated that both countries were committed to working with Turkey to address its concerns and that it was now time to welcome them.
It is worth noting that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced last week that Finland and Sweden would join NATO in 2023.