Europe

Top Finnish, Swedish representatives to visit Turkiye in coming days to discuss NATO membership

Senior representatives of Sweden, Finland to meet their Turkish counterparts in Ankara, say diplomatic sources

Atila Altuntas   | 16.05.2022
Top Finnish, Swedish representatives to visit Turkiye in coming days to discuss NATO membership

STOCKHOLM

Senior representatives of Sweden and Finland are set to visit Turkiye in the coming days to hold official talks in Ankara to discuss NATO membership applications, the Swedish Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

According to the ministry, representatives from both countries will meet with their Turkish counterparts in Ankara.

The Swedish government had also announced Sunday that the country will send a delegation of diplomats to Turkiye to discuss the Scandinavian country’s decision to apply for NATO membership.

For decades, Sweden and Finland took a neutral foreign policy posture in the region, but the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war that started on Feb. 24 triggered a shift in their approach, with both the public and most politicians favoring joining the NATO alliance.

However, Sweden and Finland, which have stated their intention to seek NATO membership, have not responded positively to requests from Turkiye – a NATO member for over 70 years – for the extradition of a total of 33 terrorists.

Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had expressed reservations over the possible membership of Finland and Sweden in NATO, saying the Scandinavian countries support the YPG/PKK terror group.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist group by the EU, but Turkiye has complained that many European countries tolerate its presence and allow it to recruit and sell drugs to fund its attacks.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkiye, the terror group has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.

*Writing and contribution by Seda Sevencan

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