Finland and Sweden will discuss their NATO membership with Erdogan
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson will discuss on June 28 with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan their NATO membership goals, which have been blocked by Turkey.
The parties will hold these talks in the framework of the NATO summit to be held this year in Madrid from 28 to 30 June. “President Niinisto will meet tomorrow in Madrid with Turkish President Erdogan and Swedish Prime Minister Andersson, as well as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg,” said the Finnish presidency.
He said the meeting would be preceded by a round of talks between Finnish, Swedish and Turkish officials invited by NATO to Brussels. The Russian occupation of Ukraine has pushed Finland and Sweden to apply for membership in the North Atlantic Alliance. However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that he is against the accession of these two countries to NATO, mentioning what he considers their support for “terrorist organizations”.
With this statement he refers to the banned organizations, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdish militia, the People’s Defense Units (YPG) in Syria. The Turkish leader has called on Sweden and Finland to lift the arms embargo imposed on Turkey in 2019 over Ankara’s military offensive in Syria.
Erdogan signaled on June 25 that no progress had been made on Sweden’s ambitions to join NATO, urging Stockholm to take “concrete action” to allay Ankara’s concerns. Turkish officials have said Ankara does not consider the Madrid summit a deadline for resolving their differences.