Turkey: NATO Summit Not Deadline for Sweden, Finland to Join

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The discussions between Turkey, Φινλανδίας and Sweden for integration of the two Nordic countries in NATO The alliance’s summit in Madrid next week is not a deadline, Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for the Turkish president, said today after talks in Brussels.

Stockholm and Helsinki applied to join the Western Defense Alliance last month in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But they have faced opposition from Turkey, which has accused them of supporting and protecting Kurdish fighters and other organizations that Ankara describes as terrorist.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels after NATO talks on the issue, Kalin stressed that Ankara expects Sweden, in particular, to take immediate action on the actions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in its country and that any progress in the Nordic countries’ applications for membership “now depends on the direction and speed with which these countries take action”.

For his part, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement that today’s talks between Turkey, Sweden and Finland to find a solution to Ankara’s integration problems were “constructive”.

“Turkey has legitimate security concerns about terrorism, which we must address. “Therefore, we will continue our discussions (…) and I look forward to finding a solution as soon as possible,” Stoltenberg said.

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