Sweden looks forward to continuing dialogue with Türkiye over NATO bid: PM

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has stressed the importance of dialogue and ongoing negotiations with Türkiye amid Sweden and Finland’s applications to join NATO.

Andersson met with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store on Tuesday in the Swedish city of Sodertalje to discuss regional issues, including Sweden and Finland’s NATO bids.

“We are acting together with Finland. I look forward to continuing the dialogue with Türkiye until the problem is solved,” said Andersson, speaking at a joint press conference after the trilateral meeting.

Marin said it is crucial to reach a solution ahead of a NATO summit that will be held at the end of this month in Madrid.

“There is momentum now. It is important that we move forward in this process. We take Türkiye’s problems seriously and continue to engage in dialogue,” she said.

Türkiye’s concerns

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO on May 18, a decision spurred by Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine, which began on February 24.

But Türkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, has voiced objections to their membership bids, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups such as the PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO). 

Their accession requires the unanimous approval of all 30 NATO member countries.

In late May, Türkiye hosted consultations with Swedish and Finnish delegations on their NATO applications in the capital Ankara. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the talks had not been “at the desired level.”