NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed confidence on Sunday that Finland and Sweden would join the organization despite Turkey’s “legitimate concerns”, calling the upcoming Madrid summit “decisive”.
“The Madrid summit was never seen as the last chance to conclude the ratification of the accession of Finland and Sweden,” Stoltenberg said during a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö during a visit to the country.
The official stressed that Turkey’s fears of joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) “must be taken seriously” and that the way to overcome them is to “sit down and talk” the Scandinavian countries that shelter members of the PKK.
Said the official, who was asked about the possibilities of choosing an accelerated process in support of the security of the ambitious countries and the strengthening of the alliance.
“I am absolutely convinced that its membership would be in the interest of NATO security as a whole,” Stoltenberg argued, repeating the term “legitimate” to describe Turkey’s concerns.
In another record, the President of Finland highlighted his “astonishment” at Ankara’s position, stating that even a few months ago, he had always noted a “positive attitude” from Turkey towards its accession.
Stoltenberg’s working visit to Helsinki on Monday will be followed by the Secretary-General’s meeting in Stockholm with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, whose country has officially added NATO membership in parallel with Finland.
Both Nordic countries, members of the European Union but not of NATO, reversed their traditional line of military non-alignment after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, shifting public opinion away from neutrality.
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