Hurriyet Daily News
May 15, 2022

Finland, Sweden propose working to address Turkey’s concerns on NATO membership bid

Finland and Sweden have proposed to work with Turkey towards eliminating the Turkish government’s concerns regarding their NATO membership, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on May 15, stressing that they must provide guarantees on the issue of the YPG/PKK and lift export bans on Turkey.

The minister on May 14 held a tripartite meeting with his Swedish counterpart, Ann Linde, and his Finnish counterpart, Pekka Haavisto, in Berlin on the sidelines of a NATO meeting, as Turkey voiced its objection to their membership bid to the alliance.

Speaking at a press conference after the NATO meeting on May 15, the minister emphasized that Turkey has been supporting NATO’s open-door policy and pointed to the country’s stance on the recent enlargement of NATO in the Balkans, but the case for Finland and Sweden was different.

“At the NATO meeting, we told member states that Sweden and Finland support the terrorist organization. In particular, we have openly expressed the issue of arms aid by Sweden,” Çavuşoğlu said.

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“The countries that meet with the PKK [members] should give up their stance,” Çavuşoğlu said, referring to Turkey’s hesitation concerning the NATO membership of Sweden and Finland.

Restrictions in the defense industry towards Turkey must also be lifted, he said. “It is unacceptable for a NATO member country to impose restrictions on its allies,” the minister stated.