Time-out needed in talks with Turkey over NATO bid: Finland foreign minister

24 January, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma

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Finland's foreign minister said on Tuesday that a few weeks' time-out was required in Finland and Sweden's negotiations with Turkey about joining the NATO military alliance.

Finland’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that a few weeks’ time-out was required in Finland and Sweden’s negotiations with Turkey about joining the NATO military alliance.

The U.S. States Department said on Monday that Finland and Sweden are prepared to join NATO alliance after Turksih President Tayyip Erdogan said that Sweden should not expect tuurkey’s support for its membership after protests near the Turkish embassy in Stockhom at the weekend and burning a copy of the Quran.

“A time-out is needed before we return to the three-way talks and see where we are when the dust has settled after the current situation, so no conclusions should be drawn yet,” Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told Reuters.

“I think there will be a break for a couple of weeks,” he said.

Sweden and Finland applied to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization last year, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and now require the support of all present NATO members to move through with their application.

However, Turkey has stated that Sweden, in particular, must take a firmer position against what it considers terrorists: mostly Kurdish militants, and a group it blames for a failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016.