US 'still optimistic' Türkiye-Nordic row will be resolved
'We know that both countries are working directly with Turkey to try to address those concerns,' says John Kirby
The US continued to voice optimism Wednesday that an ongoing row between Türkiye and Finland and Sweden regarding the Nordic nations' NATO membership bids will be resolved.
"We're still optimistic that these issues will be able to be worked out and that Finland and Sweden will be able to join NATO," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters at the White House.
"We know that both countries are working directly with Türkiye to try to address those concerns. And I think we think at this point, it's better left to them as sovereign nations to do that," he added.
The comments come after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said documents sent by Finland and Sweden regarding their NATO bids do not meet Ankara's expectations, adding that Turkish officials have briefed Stockholm and Helsinki, as well as NATO, about the shortcomings.
The nations formally applied to join NATO on May 18, a decision spurred by Russia's war on Ukraine.
But Türkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, has voiced objections to the bids, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting terror groups such as the PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO). Their accession requires the unanimous approval of all 30 NATO member countries.
In late May, Türkiye hosted consultations with Swedish and Finnish delegations on their NATO applications in the Turkish capital of Ankara but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the talks had not been "at the desired level."
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