Hurriyet Daily News
May 28, 2022

Turkey’s NATO issues with Sweden, Finland can be overcome: US

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on May 27 he’s confident Turkey’s objections to Finland and Sweden joining NATO can be overcome swiftly, possibly in time for a summit of alliance leaders at the end of next month.

At a news conference in Washington with visiting Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, Blinken said the U.S. has no reason to believe Turkey’s concerns cannot be addressed. His comments came after Turkey’s top diplomat said Finland and Sweden would have to take “concrete steps” before Ankara could support their membership.

“The United States fully supports Finland and Sweden joining the alliance and I continue to be confident that both will soon be NATO members,” Blinken said. “We look forward to being able to call Finland and Sweden our allies.”

Haavisto said his country and Sweden had held “good negotiations” with the Turks over their concerns in recent days and said those discussions would continue with an eye toward resolving them before the NATO summit in Madrid at the end of June.

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Turkey this week listed five “concrete assurances” it was demanding from Sweden, including what it said was “termination of political support for terrorism,” an “elimination of the source of terrorism financing,” and the “cessation of arms support” to the banned PKK and its Syrian offshoot YPG:

The demands also called for the lifting of arms sanctions against Turkey and global cooperation against terrorism.