To set the conditions for major NATO member candidates

Turkey says written assurances from Sweden and Finland will be needed at a meeting on Wednesday

Representatives of NATO candidates Sweden and Finland will meet with top Turkish officials in Ankara on Wednesday to discuss Turkey’s objections to their membership in the alliance. Turkey’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that his country would seek a guarantee of resistance from the Nordic countries. “Supporting Terrorism.”

The European delegation is led by Swedish Secretary of State Oscar Steinstrom and his Finnish counterpart Zukka Salovara, the second top diplomat in their respective governments. The Turkish Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday that it would meet with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlুতt Cavusoglu said his nation would seek written assurances from Finland and Sweden that they would address Turkey’s concerns before joining NATO.

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“We hope for definite steps. We cannot go ahead with some good wishes.” He told CNN Turk. There could also be a four-way meeting with a NATO representative, the minister added.

The minister said Ankara wanted the two countries to take action against Kurdish militants whom the Turkish government considers terrorists and to lift sanctions on arms trade with Turkey.

President Erdogan’s office on Monday outlined a similar demand specifically directed at Sweden.

The statement stressed that Turkey has been demanding the return of wanted persons from Sweden since 2017. Sweden has demanded that Turkey stop describing terrorist organizations as financing and lift the arms embargo imposed in Syria in 2019 in response to Turkey’s military action.

Representatives of the Nordic countries will try to solve the Turkish problem “Security Concerns Against Terrorism”Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Havisto made the remarks during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “There may be issues that are not directly related to Finland and Sweden but more so with other NATO members.” He added.

Foreign Minister Cavusoglu, who is visiting Palestine and Israel this week, also discussed Turkey’s request to upgrade F-16 fighter jets and kits from the United States. The deal is progressing and is not linked to NATO expansion, he told reporters during a visit to Tel Aviv.

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File photo.  Turkish F-16.  Ty Getty Images via the Turkish Ministry of National Defense / Efe Ilban / Handout / Anadolu Agency
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“We have asked the United States to lift the defense embargo and we will continue to demand it.” He added that Washington had imposed sanctions on Turkey in retaliation for Russia’s purchase of advanced S-400 air defense systems.

Some American politicians, including Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have suggested that the F-16 deal could be suspended unless Turkey agrees to welcome Finland and Sweden as new members of NATO.

Last week, two Nordic countries formally requested access to the US-led military bloc. Joining requires the unanimous approval of all current NATO states, including Turkey, which has threatened to veto Finland and Sweden unless they make major concessions in their national security interests.

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