The US wants the trilateral talks between Turkey, Finland and Sweden on NATO expansion to continue. This was announced on January 27 by the coordinator for strategic communications at the White House National Security Council, John Kirby.
“We certainly continue to strongly support their entry into the alliance. And we want the negotiations on this to continue. We have made it clear that we want to continue discussing this so that the accession happens as soon as possible, ”he said at the briefing.
Kirby assured that the US does not interfere in the negotiations, but wants the existing problems to be resolved in the near future, so that Finland and Sweden can join NATO as soon as possible.
The day before, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the republic’s immediate plans do not include holding meetings with Sweden and Finland on the issue of their membership in the alliance. This is how he reacted to the fact that on January 21 Danish politician and lawyer Rasmus Paludan, who also leads the anti-Islamic Hard Deal party, burned a copy of the Koran in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.
On January 24, it became known that the trilateral negotiations on the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO were suspended indefinitely at the request of Turkey. The next meeting was to be held in Brussels in February.
On the same day, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson expressed hope for a speedy restoration of dialogue with Turkey on joining NATO against the backdrop of deteriorating relations between the countries. He stated that there is no contradiction between defending the right to freedom of speech in Sweden and advancing the process of joining NATO.
Prior to this, on January 23, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Sweden should not wait for support for its application to join NATO from Turkey after scandalous anti-Turkish actions took place in Stockholm. In particular, Erdogan called the action of burning the Koran at the Turkish Embassy an insult to both Muslims and the rights and freedoms of all people.
Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO on May 18, 2022. At the end of June, members of the bloc officially invited countries to join the North Atlantic Alliance and agreed to sign accession protocols.
In June, Ankara presented 10 conditions for lifting the veto on NATO membership of Sweden and Finland. One of the points was a proposal to support Turkey in its fight against terrorist organizations recognized by Ankara, including the PKK.
To include Finland and Sweden in NATO, their candidacy must be approved by all member countries of the alliance. At the moment, applications have been approved by 28 countries out of 30, except for Hungary and Turkey. At the same time, Budapest declared its readiness to complete the process of two new countries joining NATO.