Delegations gather in Türkiye ahead of July 11-12 NATO summit in Lithuania to discuss Sweden’s NATO bid
Delegations of Türkiye, Finland, Sweden, and NATO agreed to continue working on the concrete steps for Stockholm’s NATO bid, Türkiye’s Communications Directorate said on Wednesday.
Akif Cagatay Kilic, the chief adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Deputy Foreign Minister Burak Akcapar chaired the fourth meeting of the permanent joint mechanism between the parties at the presidential complex in the Turkish capital Ankara.
Stian Jenssen, the director of the Private Office of the NATO secretary general, Jan Knutsson, Sweden’s state secretary for foreign affairs, and Jukka Salovaara, the permanent state secretary for the Finnish Foreign Ministry, attended the talks.
The three-hour-long meeting came before the NATO leaders convene in a summit in Vilnius, Lithuania on July 11-12.
During the meeting, steps taken by Sweden under the June 2022 trilateral memorandum signed in Madrid to address Ankara’s security concerns on terrorism, were discussed, the directorate said in a statement.
The reflections on the measures taken in the fight against terrorism by Sweden were also consulted.
Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership soon after Russia launched a war on Ukraine in February 2022.
Although Türkiye approved Finland’s membership to NATO, it is waiting for Sweden to fulfill its commitments under the deal.
Sweden passed an anti-terror law in November, hoping that Ankara would approve Stockholm’s bid to join NATO. The new law, effective as of June 1, allows authorities to prosecute individuals who support terror groups.
“In this context, the level of progress made in realizing the commitments recorded in the trilateral memorandum was discussed,” the statement read.
Several foreign ministers hope that Türkiye would approve Sweden’s bid ahead of the NATO summit next month.
However, Erdogan made it clear that if Türkiye is expected to respond to Stockholm’s expectations of accession to NATO, Sweden must also do its part on the terror group PKK ahead of the summit.