The head of NATO stressed that he would like to speed up the process of joining Stockholm and Helsinki to the alliance as much as possible.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Sunday expressed confidence that NATO will be able to find a common language with Turkey on the accession of Sweden and Finland to the alliance.
“I am sure that we will be able to address the concerns expressed by Turkey in such a way as not to delay the accession or accession process,” Jens Stoltenberg said, speaking to reporters via video link.
He explained that, as Ankara made it clear, it does not intend to block the Scandinavian countries’ application to join NATO.
The statement was made after a speech by the Turkish Foreign Minister that Sweden and Finland should stop supporting terrorist groups in their countries, provide clear security guarantees and lift export bans to Turkey.
Speaking after the meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin, Mevlut Cavusoglu said that he had met with his Swedish and Finnish colleagues and that they were all trying to take into account Turkey’s concerns.
He added that Turkey does not threaten anyone and is not looking for leverage, but expresses its opinion, especially about Sweden’s support for the Kurdish militant group PKK, which Turkey, the United States and the European Union consider as terrorist.
Stoltenberg said that he would like to speed up the process of the two countries joining the alliance as much as possible, and that NATO will look for ways to provide security guarantees for the interim period, including by increasing NATO’s presence in the region.