Stoltenberg believes that Finland and Sweden fulfilled Turkey’s conditions for joining NATO
“The time has come to accept Finland and Sweden as full members of NATO, their entry into the alliance will make us stronger,” Stoltenberg said at a joint press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
According to Stoltenberg, these two Scandinavian countries have complied with the terms of the tripartite memorandum they signed with Turkey, necessary for it to approve their entry into the military alliance.
“I understand your concerns, but at the same time, it is clear that Sweden and Finland have fulfilled (the conditions – IF) of the memorandum and are committed to a long-term partnership with Turkey … Finland and Sweden have significantly increased cooperation with Turkey in countering terrorism,” he said.
According to the NATO Secretary General, Sweden is adopting new legislation prohibiting ties with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which Turkey considers terrorist, and tightening control over the financing of organizations. Stoltenberg stressed that the requirements for the extradition of persons are being met, export restrictions on weapons are no longer in effect. These demands were previously made by Ankara in exchange for Turkey ratifying Finland and Sweden’s entry into the alliance.
However, Cavusoglu assessed the situation differently. “Not all components of the agreement have been implemented,” he said. The Minister, at the same time, stressed that the authorities of both countries have indeed taken some necessary measures, and Ankara welcomes this.
“We are waiting for these two countries to take concrete steps to combat terrorism,” the Turkish minister added.
He assured that Ankara is ready to continue working with Stockholm and Helsinki to resolve the remaining issues. Cavusoglu also stressed that the measures taken by Sweden and Finland at the request of Turkey should be guaranteed to remain in force even after both countries join the North Atlantic Alliance.