Finland, Sweden and Turkey to hold further talks this month on NATO expansion

Finland, Sweden and Turkey to hold further talks this month on NATO expansion

Representatives of Finland, Sweden and Turkey will meet again this month to discuss the expansion of NATO to include the two Nordic countries, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto has confirmed.

A memorandum the countries signed in June, just before the NATO summit in Madrid, will serve as the basis for the talks, which will take place in Finland, Haavisto said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had previously announced that a meeting between the three countries would take place on 26 August, but he did not say where the delegations would meet.

Turkey has long tried to block the bids by Finland and Sweden to join NATO. Ankara has accused both countries of supporting groups banned in Turkey, such as the Kurdistan Labour Party (PKK). It has also denounced the presence, in both countries, of followers of preacher Fethullah Gülen. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suspects Gulen of being behind the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

In the memorandum signed in Madrid, the three countries pledge to cooperate in the fight against terrorism. The text also states that representatives of the countries concerned will meet regularly.


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