Sweden sends diplomats to Turkey to discuss possible NATO membership, which Turkey objects to. On Monday, Defense Secretary Peter Hultqvist said that diplomats want to resolve the issue and “see what this is really about”.
Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he was “not positive” about Sweden and Finland’s possible NATO membership.
Turkey accuses those countries of hosting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), waging a guerrilla war in Turkey for decades. Turkey and the European Union consider that party a terrorist organisation. According to Erdogan, the PKK is mainly recruiting new recruits in Sweden.
The parliaments of Sweden and Finland will debate joining NATO on Monday. There seems to be a majority in favour of this in both countries. Therefore, it is expected that Sweden will submit an application on the same day and that Finland will follow in the coming days.
Once Sweden and Finland have submitted their applications to NATO, the parliaments of all thirty member states still have to agree. However, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is confident he can allay Turkey’s concerns and does not expect NATO membership to be delayed.