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BRUSSELS, June 20 (EUROPA PRESS) –
High-ranking officials from Turkey, Finland and Sweden are on Monday to discuss approving the two Nordic countries’ entry into the Atlantic Alliance at the invitation of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, allied sources have confirmed to Europa Press.
At a meeting with senior NATO officials at the organization’s own headquarters in Brussels, the candidate countries will address security concerns raised by Ankara, which accuses ties between Stockholm and Helsinki with the terrorist group Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) starting their accession negotiations.
“They will address the security concerns raised by our ally to move forward with Finland and Sweden’s bids for NATO membership,” the sources consulted said, stressing that Stoltenberg is in “close contact” with all stakeholders to clear this hurdle.
In this way, the former Norwegian Prime Minister continues tripartite contacts and progress in the initiative, which he confirmed in early June when he announced he would call on the Swedes, Finns and Turks to find a way out of the blockade.
Turkey’s reticence towards Sweden and Finland has eliminated the option of an “express” entry by the two Scandinavian countries, which applied to join the military alliance in May in response to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is calling for “concrete steps” from both sides and has ruled out a possible change of position in the short term until “clear, concrete and decisive steps in the fight against terrorism” have been taken. It also calls for a change in arms export policy to Turkey, which has restrictions on Turkish operations in northern Syria.
In this context, it seems difficult for the candidate countries to attend the Madrid summit later this month as “de facto” partners with “guest” status, as allies like the United States claim.
In recent weeks, diplomatic contacts have multiplied, including at NATO level, to unblock the situation and make progress, although within the organization they already rule out setting the Madrid meeting as a deadline for removing the Turkish blockade.