Turkey wants ‘concrete steps’ from Sweden, Finland over NATO bids

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Turkish president says no progress can be achieved in the process without seeing ‘concrete steps’ by both countries.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says steps should be taken to address Ankara’s “legitimate” concerns over the NATO bids of Finland and Sweden.

According to a statement by Turkey’s Communications Directorate on Wednesday, Erdogan told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in a phone call that no progress can be achieved without seeing “concrete steps” by both Finland and Sweden that would meet Turkey’s “rightful expectations”.

The steps could include written commitments to a paradigm shift in fighting “terrorism” and defense industry cooperation, it said.

Turkey’s expectations were not met by documents from Sweden, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, adding any negotiations on the northern European countries’ bid to join NATO would have to address Turkey’s demands first.

Meanwhile, Stoltenberg said on Twitter he held a “constructive conversation” with Erdogan ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid that will be held June 29-30.

“We discussed the importance of addressing Turkey’s legitimate security concerns in the fight against terrorism and making progress in the NATO accession process for Finland and Sweden,” he added.

Cavusoglu previously said the two countries should amend their laws if needed to win Ankara’s backing.

The two Nordic countries reversed decades of military non-alignment by applying for NATO memberships in May, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

 

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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