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Turkey says to discuss NATO bids with Swedish, Finnish FMs in Bucharest

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Monday that he would meet with his Swedish and Finnish counterparts to discuss their bid to join NATO on the margins of the alliance’s meeting in Bucharest on Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reported.

“We will meet with the Swedish and Finnish foreign ministers tomorrow in Bucharest in a trilateral format,” Çavuşoğlu was quoted as saying by the private NTV broadcaster.

Ankara has accused the two Nordic nations of providing a safe haven for outlawed Kurdish militants it deems “terrorists” and has held back on ratifying their NATO membership despite an agreement in June.

“The process is progressing positively, but there are still steps to be taken,” Çavuşoğlu said.

“In fact, Sweden is the country that needs to take more steps.”

Finland and Sweden dropped decades of military non-alignment and scrambled to become NATO members in May, after Russia invaded Ukraine.

New Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson visited Ankara early this month to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as Stockholm hoped to secure Turkey’s approval.

Ahead of that trip, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, who met with Çavuşoğlu and Erdoğan in Istanbul, said both countries were committed to working with Turkey to address its concerns, adding it is time to welcome them.

Among all NATO members, only Hungary and Turkey are left to green-light their application.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said last week that parliament would approve Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO next year.

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