NATO sources: No progress at present in Turkey-Finland-Sweden talks

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In progress are conversations among its senior officials Turkeyτης Φινλανδίας and her Swedenat NATO Headquarters in Brussels, in order to overcome the obstacles posed by Turkey to the accession of the two countries.

In the talks that began yesterday, Sunday, Turkey is represented by a close adviser to Turkish President Erdogan, Ibrahim Kalin, and Deputy Foreign Minister, Sed Onal. Diplomatic sources consider “positive” the fact that Ankara has agreed to participate in this negotiation, for which the NATO secretariat and the Secretary General have been pushing for days. Stoltenberg. Although no progress has been made so far, talks will continue today and tomorrow, with the hope of finding a compromise ahead of the NATO Summit in Madrid (June 28-30).

Diplomatic sources estimate that even if Turkey lifts its reservations on the accession of Sweden and Finland tomorrow, there is no time within a week for all the necessary procedures to proceed with the accession process of the two countries and for them to be able to participate. at the NATO Summit with the status of “observer” countries. The compromise, however, would be a “very positive development” if it finally happened before Madrid, the same sources commented.

According to the same sources, in the event that Ankara decides to stop the blackmail, the three countries will sign a joint statement, which will respond to Turkish concerns about terrorism, but also to its request for the lifting of the arms embargo by Sweden. . Erdogan could “sell” this statement inside, saying that he came out of the negotiation with a win. However, Ankara still has demands from Helsinki and especially Stockholm to lift its security concerns about terrorism – which rumors say even include the resignation of Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Lind – it is impossible to be satisfied, diplomatic sources estimate. At the same time, as Turkey has more “open issues” with Sweden, while things seem easier with Finland, no one wants Finland to join, because that would leave it exposed to the Russian threat.

Regarding the recent reports in the Turkish press that Erdogan will raise the issue of demilitarization of the Greek islands at the Madrid Summit, diplomatic sources estimate that this is not very likely. Firstly, because the Turkish Minister of Defense, Hulusi Akar, gave a positive image and promised a calm summer, during the brief meeting he had with the Greek Minister of the Armed Forces, N. Panagiotopoulos, at the last NATO Ministerial Summit in Brussels. Secondly, because Turkey would create the image that, in addition to the other problems it has created, it also threatens a NATO country.

The same diplomatic sources estimate that Erdogan might have raised the issue of demilitarization of the islands, only if the problem with Sweden and Finland has not been resolved by the Madrid Summit. He would do this only if he wanted to disorient himself from the main problem which is the accession of the two Scandinavian countries and turn to Greece for distraction. If that happens, the Greek side will explain, as always calmly, that the NATO Summit is not the right place to make such absurd claims, the same sources said.

Stoltenberg: Finland and Sweden joining NATO would make the Alliance stronger and the whole Euro-Atlantic area safer

At the invitation of Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, senior officials from Turkey, Finland and Sweden met with senior NATO officials at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.

Under the chairmanship of Stian Jensen, Director-General of the Secretary-General’s Private Office, the talks focused on security concerns raised by Turkey in order to make progress on NATO and Finland membership applications from Finland and Sweden.

“I welcome the constructive meeting that took place today on the historic applications of Finland and Sweden to join NATO,” said Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. He added that “the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO would make the Alliance stronger and the whole Euro-Atlantic area safer. Turkey has legitimate security concerns about terrorism that we have to deal with. “So we will continue our talks on Finland and Sweden’s applications for NATO membership and I look forward to finding a way forward as soon as possible.”

The Turkish delegation was headed by Ibrahim Kalin, Representative of the Turkish President and Special Adviser to the President of the Republic of Turkey. The Finnish delegation was led by Petri Hakkarainen, Director of Foreign and Security Policy at the Office of the President of the Republic of Finland, and the Swedish delegation was led by Oscar Strenstrom, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Security .

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