Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Monday he will meet his Swedish and Finnish counterparts to discuss their bid to join NATO on the sidelines of the alliance’s meeting in Bucharest on Tuesday.
“We will meet with Swedish and Finnish foreign ministers tomorrow in Bucharest under a trilateral format,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by private broadcaster NTV.
Ankara has accused the two Nordic countries of providing sanctuary to outlawed Kurdish militants it considers “terrorists” and held back on ratifying their Nato membership despite a deal in June.
“The process is progressing positively, but there are still steps to be taken,” Cavusoglu said.
“Sweden is actually the country that needs to take more steps.”
Finland and Sweden shed decades of military non-alignment and fought to become NATO members in May, after Russia invaded Ukraine.
New Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson visited Ankara at the beginning of the month to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as Stockholm hoped to secure Turkey’s approval.
Ahead of that trip, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, who met with Cavusoglu and Erdogan in Istanbul, said both countries were committed to working with Turkey to address its concerns, adding that it is time to welcome them.
Among all NATO members, only Hungary and Turkey give the green light to their application.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said last week that parliament would approve Finland and Sweden joining NATO next year. (AFP)