Talks to be held on Finland’s NATO bid - M5 Dergi
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Talks to be held on Finland’s NATO bid

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Finnish officials will arrive in Ankara on Oct. 25 to discuss their country’s bid to join NATO, daily Milliyet has reported.

A delegation from Finland’s Justice Ministry will meet Kasım Çiçek, the head of foreign relations at the Justice Ministry.

The talks will focus on the extradition of individuals Türkiye regards as terrorists.

Both Finland and its neighbor Sweden applied for membership of the defense alliance in the wake of Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, abandoning longstanding policies of military nonalignment.

Becoming a NATO member requires the unanimous support of all current members, including Türkiye.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Oct. 20 that he had also agreed to meet with Sweden’s new prime minister, Ulf Kristersson, in Ankara.

“Sweden’s new prime minister requested an appointment. I told our friends to ‘give an appointment.’… We will discuss these issues with him in our country,” Erdoğan was quoted as saying by private NTV television.

Erdoğan said Ankara’s position remained unchanged, calling on Sweden and Finland to “deliver terrorists sought by Turkish authorities.”

Meanwhile, Sweden’s new foreign minister, Tobias Billstrom, said the government “attaches the highest priority to NATO accession.”

He described a possible meeting between Kristersson and Erdoğan as positive news.

“We believe that close dialogue and close consultations with all the three parties of this trial memorandum is the way forward,” said Billstrom, who met his Finnish counterpart, Pekka Haavisto, in Helsinki on Oct. 21.

“We believe that everything will lead to what we expect: Namely, the ratification of and by the Turkish parliament,” Billstrom said.

Ankara has long been urging the two countries to concretely support Türkiye’s fight against terror if they want to join NATO.

Türkiye, Sweden and Finland signed a memorandum of understanding on June 29 on the sidelines of the NATO Summit for the two Nordic states’ joining the alliance.

The trilateral agreement stipulates that Sweden and Finland cooperate with Türkiye against all sorts of terrorist organizations, including the PKK, the YPG and FETÖ, if they want to be a member of the alliance.

Only the parliaments of Türkiye and Hungary have yet to ratify the accession of Finland and Sweden.

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