, pub-6663105814926378, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Turkey: NATO Summit in June Not Deadline for Finland-Sweden Accession 4289

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Turkey: NATO Summit in June Not Deadline for Finland-Sweden Accession

 Ankara says there is no time limit for Finland and Sweden's decision to join NATO. The possibility of a decision at the summit in late June is ruled out.

The NATO summit in Madrid in late June is not a deadline for deciding on Sweden and Finland's candidacy, which Turkey opposes, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said today.

Sweden and Finland applied to join the Alliance last month in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine . However, their demands are hampered by Ankara, which accuses the two Nordic countries of supporting Kurdish fighters.

While Stockholm and Helsinki say talks will continue to resolve differences with Turkey, President Erdogan said on Wednesday that Ankara had not received any response to its demands , including the suspension of support for groups that Turkey considers terrorist, for lifting of the arms embargo on Ankara and the extradition of suspects requested by Turkey.

Speaking to the Turkish state news agency Anadolu during a visit to Madrid, Erdogan's spokesman and chief foreign policy adviser, Ibrahim Kalin, reiterated that progress in the EU bid depends on respond to Turkish requests.

" We do not feel that we are in a time constraint like the NATO summit," Kalin said, adding that while the summit is important in addressing common issues such as Russia's invasion of Ukraine and co-operation within the Alliance, its candidate members NATO must take steps to alleviate the concerns of current members.

"We do not feel that we are under any time pressure such as 'let's finish with this until the NATO summit'." "What is important in this case is for Sweden and Finland to articulate openly, clearly and specifically what kind of measures they will take in the fight against terrorism."

Any application for NATO membership requires the unanimous approval of its 30 member states. Turkey , which has been a member of NATO for more than 70 years, has said it will not change its position unless the Nordic countries take "concrete steps" to address its concerns.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said during a visit to Washington this week that he would convene senior officials from Finland, Sweden and Turkey in Brussels in the coming days to discuss the issue.

The leaders of the NATO member states will meet on June 29-30 in Madrid.

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