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NATO chief, Sweden PM address Turkiye's opposition to NATO accession 

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on 15 June 2022 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on 15 June 2022 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and the Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson met in Brussels yesterday and discussed ways to address Turkiye's opposition to Stockholm and Finland's accession to the alliance.

A high-level meeting took place in NATO headquarters in Brussels which included representatives from Turkey, Sweden and Finland.

The meeting came a day before NATO member states hold their summit in Madrid which will be attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"It is still too early to say whether we will make progress until the Madrid summit," Stoltenberg told reporters,  warning that "when several countries are involved in the process, none of them can promise in the name of the others if and when an agreement will be reached."

"The only thing I can promise is that we are working as hard and actively as possible to find a solution as quickly as possible," he said, adding "I will not make any promises or speculate on specific deadlines."

Stoltenberg said Sweden and Finland's accession to NATO will strengthen it,  however, he added that Turkiye, "an allied country, has expressed specific security concerns and we must take them into account."

READ: Understanding Turkiye's position on NATO enlargement

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto and the Swedish prime minister in Madrid today during the NATO summit. The meeting will also be attended by Stoltenberg.

Ankara is blocking Sweden and Finland's accession to the alliance, accusing them of harbouring militants from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is designated a terrorist group by Turkiye, as well as supporters of Fethullah Gulen who is accused of being the mastermind behind the 2016 failed coup attempt.

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