Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu is to speak with his Swedish and Finnish counterparts about their countries’ applications to join NATO on the sidelines of the alliance’s meeting on Tuesday.
“We will meet the foreign ministers of Sweden and Finland tomorrow in Bucharest under a trilateral format,” Çavuşoğlu said on Monday, speaking to a group of reporters after a joint press conference with his Turkmen counterpart in Ankara, private Turkish broadcaster NTV reported.
Sweden and Finland abandoned their long-standing policy of military non-alignment and applied to join the transatlantic alliance in May, driven in large part by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
All 30 NATO members must ratify their accession except Türkiye, along with Hungaryhas suspended its approval due to the fact that the Nordic nations, especially Sweden, provide a haven for terrorists from groups such as the PKK and its Syrian wing, the YPG, and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), which was behind the bloody 2016 coup attempt in Turkey .
While Stockholm has taken steps to get into Türkiye’s good graces since the sides struck a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) in June requiring it to end support for PKK terrorists and its offshoots, Ankara has so far been unimpressed by Sweden’s minimal action.
“Sweden and Finland have not yet taken concrete steps under the trilateral memorandum,” the minister said on Monday, noting that Sweden in particular needs to make more efforts to implement its promises.
On Friday, Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson assured that his country would do so fulfill their promises to Turkey on the fight against terrorism in remarks that followed a terrorist attack in Istanbul that killed six and injured 81, as well as PKK/YPG attacks on its southeastern provinces that killed two and injured 14 others.
The second meeting of the permanent joint mechanism between the three nations was held on the same day in Stockholm, with the aim of ensuring the implementation of the commitments in the memorandum, that the Nordic countries would give full support to Türkiye against threats to its national security.
Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have warned that Türkiye will not give the nod to Sweden and Finland’s membership until the memorandum is implemented.