The Madrid Summit is not a final date for deciding NATO membership

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Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that negotiations over Finland’s and Sweden’s request to join NATO, and Ankara’s concerns in this regard, are continuing, and that the Madrid summit at the end of the month is not a deadline for resolving it.

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This came in statements to reporters from NATO headquarters in Brussels on Monday, where he is on a visit accompanied by Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Unal to discuss the issue of Sweden and Finland joining the alliance.

Kalin stated that negotiations in this regard will continue, and that the upcoming NATO summit in Madrid on June 29-30 is not the deadline for its settlement.

He stressed that NATO is a security alliance and that countries wishing to join it must meet the conditions for membership and address the security concerns of member states.

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He pointed out that the talks (with the Swedish and Finnish delegations at NATO headquarters) were frank and transparent, and that the tangible steps that the two countries would take will be the decisive factor in the next stage.

Regarding the activities of the terrorist PKK in Sweden, Kalin confirmed that Turkey is waiting for Stockholm to take quick steps in this regard, pointing out that he had heard positive statements from Swedish officials in this regard.

He stated that the Swedish side informed him that there is a new anti-terrorism law that will come into force as of next July 1, but added that it is still too early to judge this step before the details become clear.

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Kalin said that during the talks, Turkey’s aspirations were expressed with regard to ending the presence and activities of terrorist organizations such as PKK/YPG and Gulen on the territory of Sweden and Finland.

He explained that the Turkish delegation also expressed Ankara’s aspiration regarding lifting the embargo and restrictions on arms supplies to Turkey.

In turn, Unal said that Turkey is looking forward to changing the position of Sweden and Finland and seeing binding commitments and concrete steps.

He explained that the talks took place in a constructive atmosphere in general, and that Turkey does not see itself bound by a specific date in order to resolve the negotiations.

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He stressed that the speed of the process is related to how the two countries respond to Turkey’s security concerns and their speed in taking tangible steps.