Turkey, Finland and Sweden agree on further talks on NATO membership

Representatives from Türkiye, Sweden and Finland agreed at a meeting on March 9 to hold more talks on the stalled bids by the Nordic countries to join NATO, the alliance said.

Türkiye and Hungary are the only NATO countries still to ratify the applications, which must be accepted by all 30 existing members of the military organization.

Ankara has held up the process and is pushing a list of demands, including that Sweden expel dozens of PKK and FETÖ terror organizations members.

A statement from NATO said that “participants welcomed the progress that has been made” on a three-way deal struck last year aimed at satisfying Türkiye’s complaints.

“They further agreed that rapid ratifications for both Finland and Sweden would be in everyone’s interest, and that their membership will strengthen the alliance,” NATO said after the talks chaired by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The statement said the three countries agreed to meet again in the same format ahead of a NATO summit in Vilnius in July.

Swedish negotiator Oscar Stenstrom said there had been “a small step forward”.