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Diplomatic Push Launched To Iron Out Differences Over Nordic Membership Bids

NATO

Chief diplomats from NATO countries welcomed the prospect of Finland and Sweden joining the Alliance as the two Nordic countries confirmed their plans to apply. Turkey provided the only dissenting voice, citing Finland's and Sweden's relations with Kurdish militants.

  • NATO Foreign Ministers held an informal summit in Berlin over the weekend, joined by their colleagues from Sweden and Finland. Secretary General Stoltenberg called their potential entry a "historic moment" (and most leaders spoke in similar vein) but Turkey voiced concerns over their "support for Kurdish terrorists."
  • U.S. Secretary of State Blinken discussed the matter with his Turkish counterpart Cavusoglu and expressed confidence that "we will reach consensus." Meanwhile, Cavusoglu stressed that Ankara is not opposed to NATO's "open door policy" but is merely concerned about the two applicants' support for the PKK, Kurdish rebels operating in parts of Turkey and Iraq.
  • Sweden said it will send a diplomatic delegation to Turkey this week as Cavusoglu criticised Stockholm's comments as "provocative." Turkey's top diplomat appeared more satisfied with Finland's approach, lauding it as more respectful and "conciliatory."
  • Any new membership bid needs to win unanimous approval of all NATO members and be ratified by their respective parliaments. The U.S. and UK have reached interim security deals with Finland and Sweden, promising them security guarantees before their formal entry.
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Chief diplomats from NATO countries welcomed the prospect of Finland and Sweden joining the Alliance as the two Nordic countries confirmed their plans to apply. Turkey provided the only dissenting voice, citing Finland's and Sweden's relations with Kurdish militants.

  • NATO Foreign Ministers held an informal summit in Berlin over the weekend, joined by their colleagues from Sweden and Finland. Secretary General Stoltenberg called their potential entry a "historic moment" (and most leaders spoke in similar vein) but Turkey voiced concerns over their "support for Kurdish terrorists."
  • U.S. Secretary of State Blinken discussed the matter with his Turkish counterpart Cavusoglu and expressed confidence that "we will reach consensus." Meanwhile, Cavusoglu stressed that Ankara is not opposed to NATO's "open door policy" but is merely concerned about the two applicants' support for the PKK, Kurdish rebels operating in parts of Turkey and Iraq.
  • Sweden said it will send a diplomatic delegation to Turkey this week as Cavusoglu criticised Stockholm's comments as "provocative." Turkey's top diplomat appeared more satisfied with Finland's approach, lauding it as more respectful and "conciliatory."
  • Any new membership bid needs to win unanimous approval of all NATO members and be ratified by their respective parliaments. The U.S. and UK have reached interim security deals with Finland and Sweden, promising them security guarantees before their formal entry.