NATO enlargement: Turkey's blocking of Sweden and Finland's membership could last
Eva Deschamps / June 13, 2022
Turkey's blocking of Nato membership applications from Sweden and Finland may not be resolved in time for the alliance's summit later this month, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Sunday.
He said that Nato is working hard to solve the legitimate problems raised by Turkey.
Mr. Stoltenberg had earlier insisted that both countries would be welcomed with open arms, but Turkey blocked their applications.
Ankara accuses them of offering refuge to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a group classified as terrorist by Turkey and its Western allies.
I would like to see this issue resolved as soon as possible, Stoltenberg said Sunday at a joint press conference in Finland with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.
However, the Madrid summit was never a deadline, he assured.
In early June, during a visit to Washington, Mr. Stoltenberg said that his intention was to resolve the issue before the meeting that is to open on June 28.
Stoltenberg said Ankara had raised legitimate concerns.
We must understand and remember that no other NATO ally has suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkey. And also that Turkey is an important ally with a strategic geographical location, he stressed.
Any agreement to join Nato must be unanimously approved by its thirty members.
The two Nordic countries have repeatedly expressed surprise at Turkey's objections, saying that Ankara had indicated its support for their membership applications until they submitted them.