Sweden, Finland talks ongoing with Turkey on NATO bids

STOCKHOLM: Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said that talks with Turkey are continuing in order to win Ankara's support for Stockholm's bid to join NATO's military alliance.

"Sweden's engagement with Turkey is ongoing, and I look forward to developing Swedish-Turkish bilateral relations, notably in the areas of peace, security, and counter-terrorism," Andersson said at a joint press conference with Charles Michel, the visiting President of the European Council.

On May 18, Sweden and Finland submitted their official letters of application to join NATO at the same time, according to reports.

Turkey has been the sole NATO member to oppose these efforts, citing the two Scandinavian nations' support for the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

If Finland and Sweden wish to join NATO, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu sought a "formal agreement" from them on actions to eliminate their "support for terrorism."  In turn, Michel stated that the European Union (EU) anticipates a "good end to NATO allies' deliberations."

He reaffirmed the European Commission's support for Sweden and Finland's bids to join NATO.

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