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Turkiye, Sweden, Finland to hold meeting on NATO accession

February 24, 2023 at 1:12 pm

Member country flags are placed on the first day of the NATO Defence Ministers’ Meeting [Dursun Aydemir – Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye, Finland and Sweden will hold a meeting to discuss the NATO accession of the  two Nordic countries in March, the alliance chief announced today.

Jens Stoltenberg spoke at a joint press conference with Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and President of the European Commission von der Leyen in Tallinn, Estonia.

Stoltenberg said he “had good discussions with President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan” during his visit to Ankara last week.

“We agreed to restart the talks and to convene a trilateral meeting between Finland, Sweden and Turkiye at NATO headquarters in mid-March under my auspices,” he explained.

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The parties will discuss “how to complete the accession process” of both the states.

Stoltenberg also welcomed that the Hungarian parliament will begin the process to ratify the accession protocol of the two countries next week.

He noted that “this has been the quickest accession process in NATO’s modern history” since Sweden and Finland applied for membership in May last year.

“The most important thing is not whether Finland, Sweden join exactly at the same time. The most important thing is that they join as soon as possible,” Stoltenberg stressed.

He also asserted that the two countries are “at a completely different place” and have already made great progress in integrating into NATO’s civilian and military structure.

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