Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s Secretary-General, is expected to meet with officials from Turkey, Finland, and Sweden in Brussels next week to address Ankara’s worries about the two Nordic countries’ efforts to join the Western military alliance.
During a visit to Washington, Stoltenberg stated that representatives from all three countries would meet in Brussels “in the upcoming days… to ensure that we are making progress on the applications of Finland and Sweden to join NATO,” adding that both nations were “ready to sit down and to address” Turkey’s concerns.
According to the reports, that meeting will take place in NATO’s Brussels headquarters in the coming week.
As a result of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Finland and Sweden have submitted formal applications to join NATO. However, Turkey has placed obstacles in their way, pressuring them to end their support for members of the Kurdistan Workers Party-PKK, which the government of Turkey thinks of as terrorists.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoan told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg over the phone on Friday that Sweden and Finland should say “very openly as well as clearly that they had given up favouring terrorism.” Erdoğan called his government’s security concerns “rightful and legitimate.”
At the same time, Stoltenberg held a meeting with Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin on Friday as well as they talked about “the need to address Turkey’s concerns and move forward” with Helsinki’s and Stockholm’s applications.