ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu said on Monday that talks with Sweden and Finland over their applications to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would resume on 9 March.
Turkey had indefinitely canceled in January a meeting of a trilateral mechanism with Sweden and Finland, scheduled for the following month, following a demonstration in Stockholm that angered Ankara.
“My colleagues will attend the meeting to be held on March 9,” Mevlüt Cavusoglu told a news conference in Ankara, adding that the meeting would be held in Brussels.
However, he added that Sweden was still not fulfilling its obligations under the memorandum of understanding signed at a NATO summit in Madrid last June, while the NATO secretary general and other allies said that Stockholm had changed its legislation.
“Unfortunately, we have not seen satisfactory steps from Sweden regarding the implementation of the Madrid Memorandum,” said Mevlüt Cavusoglu. “It is not possible for us to say ‘yes’ to Sweden’s candidacy for NATO before seeing these measures”.
Sweden and Finland asked to join NATO last year after Russia invaded Ukraine, but Sweden in particular has faced objections from Turkey.
Ankara accuses Stockholm of harboring people it accuses of terrorism and is demanding their extradition as a step towards green lighting its membership.
The United States and other NATO members hope that the two Nordic countries will become members of the alliance at a NATO summit to be held on July 11 in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.
While Turkey has indicated that it may approve Finland’s membership, it has given no assurances regarding Sweden by then.
(Report by Ezgi Erkoyun and Ece Toksabay, Kate Entringer, edited by Matthieu Protard)
Copyright © 2023 Thomson Reuters
I have over 8 years of experience working in the news industry. I have worked as a reporter, editor, and now managing editor at 247 News Agency. I am responsible for the day-to-day operations of the news website and overseeing all of the content that is published. I also write a column for the website, covering mostly market news.