Turkey says summit is not deadline for talks on Finland and Sweden’s NATO bids

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Discussions between Turkey, Finland and Sweden about the Nordic countries’ NATO membership will continue and an alliance summit in Madrid next week is not a deadline, Turkey said after talks in Brussels on Monday.

Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But the bids have faced opposition from Turkey, which has been angered by what it says is Helsinki and Stockholm’s support for Kurdish militants and arms embargoes on Ankara.

Last week, Turkey said documents it received from Sweden and NATO in response to the earlier written demands it presented the two candidates were far from meeting its expectations and any negotiations must first address Turkish concerns.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels alongside Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Ankara was expecting Sweden to take immediate steps regarding actions by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group in its country.

Any progress on the Nordic membership bids “now depends on the direction and speed at which these countries will take steps,” he said.

The talks in Brussels with officials from Sweden, Finland, and NATO were held in an “open and sincere atmosphere,” he said.

via Reuters

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