Blinken, in Turkey, urges speedy Nordics accession to NATO
Washington strongly supports Sweden and Finland’s quick NATO accession given steps they have already taken, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday (20 February), even as his Turkish counterpart stressed the need for more concrete action.
“Finland and Sweden have already taken concrete steps to fulfil the commitments that they met under the trilateral memorandum of agreement that they signed,” Blinken said.
When asked if Ankara would approve their accession by a NATO summit set to take place in Lithuania in July, a gathering by which the Western countries are hoping the expansion can be completed, Çavuşoğlu said Stockholm needed to do more.
“If they take steps that convince our parliament and people, there could be a development in this direction,” he added.
NATO talks to resume
But Çavuşoğlu also said suspended talks with Sweden and Finland on their NATO membership bid would resume “soon” in Brussels, in a clear signal of easing tensions between Stockholm and Ankara.
In January, Erdoğan said he was open to ratifying only Helsinki’s application.