Finland to host talks with Sweden, Turkey

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Finland will host a meeting with Sweden and Turkey later this month, the Finnish foreign minister said on Friday, after Ankara voiced its opposition to the Nordic countries’ NATO bids.

“Representatives of Finland, Sweden and Turkey will meet in Finland in August,” Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told reporters.

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He did not provide a date but Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu previously said the three would meet on August 26.

Finland and Sweden dropped their longstanding policies of military non-alliance earlier this year when they announced plans to join NATO after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Their bids have already been ratified by the United States and more than half of the 30 members of NATO. Each application must win unanimous consent from member states.

Only Turkey has opposed their applications, demanding concessions from Helsinki and Stockholm first.

This month’s meeting will continue discussions based on the memorandum the three countries signed in Madrid in June, Haavisto said.

In it, Sweden and Finland agreed to “expeditiously and thoroughly” examine Ankara’s extradition requests for suspects linked to a 2016 coup attempt and outlawed Kurdish militants.

Last week, Sweden announced the first extradition of a Turkish citizen after the agreement, but Turkey’s justice minister said on Thursday that the extradition fell far short of Stockholm’s commitments under the deal.

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