According to statements made by the Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto on Tuesday, both Finland and Sweden intend to send delegations to the Turkish capital city of Ankara on Wednesday to find a solution to the objections raised by Turkey regarding the two countries’ membership applications to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Ankara will be receiving visits from our delegations and those from Sweden and Finland. This will take place tomorrow so that the conversation will continue then,” Haavisto remarked while participating in a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
On Saturday, the presidents of Sweden and Finland called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to address his objections to both nations joining NATO. Erdogan has voiced his opposition to the expansion of NATO to both Sweden and Finland.
Communist Workers Party
Turkey claims that Sweden and Finland provide a haven to individuals with ties to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group and supporters of Fethullah Gulen. Ankara holds Gulen responsible for plotting a failed coup in 2016 and says his followers are in Sweden and Finland.
According to the Turkish presidency, Erdogan told Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on Saturday that Ankara wanted substantial efforts to address its concerns. Ankara expects real steps to be taken. In addition to this, he said that the embargo on Turkey’s arms exports that was imposed in 2019 as a result of its intervention in Syria should be repealed.
On Saturday, the President of Finland, Sauli Niinisto, stated that he had exchanged “open and direct” phone conversations with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
After the call, Niinisto tweeted, “After the call, I said that as NATO allies, Finland and Turkey will pledge to each other’s security and result in our relationship being stronger.”
Erdogan also had a conversation with the chief of NATO on Saturday. He told Jens Stoltenberg that Ankara would not look favorably on Sweden’s and Finland’s bids to join NATO unless they clearly showed cooperation in the fight against terrorism and other issues. Stoltenberg agreed with Erdogan’s assessment.