Turkey: more steps needed for nod to Nordic states’ NATO bid

Nov 29, 2022, 2:25 PM | Updated: Nov 30, 2022, 6:01 am

BUCHAREST (AP) — Sweden and Finland have made some progress in meeting Ankara’s security concerns but still need to undertake “concrete steps” to win Turkey’s approval for their NATO membership bids, the Turkish foreign minister said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg underlined that “it is time to welcome them as full fledged members of the alliance.” The military alliance is eager to add the two Nordic nations to its ranks.

Sweden and Finland abandoned their longstanding policies of military nonalignment and applied for membership in the alliance after Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February, amid concerns that Russia might target them next.

Turkey, which has accused the Nordic countries of ignoring threats to Turkey from Kurdish militants and other groups that it considers as terrorists, has not endorsed their accession. The parliaments of Turkey and Hungary have yet to ratify their applications. The 28 other NATO states have already done so.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met with his Swedish and Finnish counterparts in the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Bucharest on Tuesday.

“These two countries have taken some steps to fulfill their obligations. We do not ignore the steps that were taken,” Cavusoglu told Turkish journalists on Wednesday. “However, there is no concrete development yet on some issues such as the extradition (of suspects wanted by Turkey) and the freezing of terrorist assets.”

“We reminded (them) that in the end, it’s the Turkish people and the Turkish parliament that needs to be convinced,” he said.

The minister of Sweden and Finland sounded more upbeat.

Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström told Sweden broadcaster SVT that “progress was being made” regarding NATO membership, and that he would soon travel to Turkey.

“Further discussions await there with my Turkish foreign minister colleague. I am also looking forward to having the opportunity to make reconciliations,” Billström said.

The minister added: “as the talks moves forward, we can probably eventually reach a point where the (Turkish) parliament can ratify” Sweden and Finland’s accession.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told Finnish media that the discussions took place in a constructive, matter-of-fact spirit.

“We’ve received confirmation (from Turkey) that the conditions for Finland have also been fulfilled in many ways as previously agreed,” Haavisto told the Finnish public broadcaster YLE in comments published Wednesday.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he’s confident the two Nordic countries would soon join the alliance. He told reporters in Bucharest that relative to previous NATO enlargements, the current process “is happening in record speed.”

“Turkey, Sweden and Finland are engaging directly, as well as with NATO to make sure that Turkey’s concerns are fully addressed, including concerns about its security. That process has been moving forward and I’m very confident… that Finland and Sweden will soon be formally new members of the alliance,” he said.

Cavusoglu said Sweden’s new government was more “sincere” and “determined than the previous government” in meeting Turkey’s security demands and had made some legislative changes.

“We still need to see their implementation. Some laws will come into force with the new year,” Cavusoglu said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Paul Njoroge, right, points to photos of his wife and three children that were killed in the 2019 c...
Associated Press

Boeing pleads not guilty in case over deadly Max crashes

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Boeing pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge that it misled regulators who approved its 737 Max, the plane that was involved in two crashes that killed 346 people. Family members of passengers who died gave emotional testimony, calling for criminal prosecution of top Boeing officials. The families are trying […]
18 hours ago
abortion Capital gains tax Olympia meeting legislature abortion...
Associated Press

Washington lawmakers hear testimony on 7 abortion bills

Abortion rights proposals have been front and center in Olympia, Washington, this week as state lawmakers heard hours of public testimony on seven proposals that would reinforce abortion access.
18 hours ago
FILE - The sun dial near the Legislative Building is shown under cloudy skies, March 10, 2022, at t...
Gene Johnson, Associated Press

Justices weigh effort to balance Washington state’s tax code

SEATTLE (AP) — An effort to balance what is considered the nation’s most regressive state tax code came before the Washington Supreme Court on Thursday, with justices hearing arguments about whether they should overturn a prohibition on income taxes that dates to the 1930s. Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and […]
18 hours ago
FILE - In this April 4, 2017, file photo, fountains erupt along the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas. A...
Associated Press

Lawsuit: Vegas Strip resorts used vendor to fix hotel rates

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A federal lawsuit in Nevada is seeking class-action damages for countless hotel patrons who booked rooms in Las Vegas since 2019, alleging that most hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip have used a third-party vendor to illegally fix prices. The complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas alleges […]
18 hours ago
This undated photo provided by the Grants Pass Police Department shows Benjamin Obadiah Foster. Fos...
Associated Press

Police: Oregon fugitive kidnapped woman like 2019 Vegas case

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Police in southern Oregon were searching Thursday for a man accused of torturing a woman he held captive less than two years after he was convicted in Nevada of critically injuring another woman he held captive for two weeks. Police Chief Warren Hensman, of Grants Pass, Oregon, said in a telephone […]
18 hours ago
Brittany Lampkin of Yazoo County, extolls the Mississippi Black Women's Roundtable legislative agen...
Associated Press

Maternal deaths and disparities increase in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Deaths from pregnancy complications have become more prevalent in Mississippi, and racial disparities in the health of those who give birth have widened in recent years, according to a report released Thursday by the state’s Department of Health. The Mississippi Maternal Mortality Report shows that the maternal mortality rate increased by […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Turkey: more steps needed for nod to Nordic states’ NATO bid