US urges Turkey to allow NATO expansion as officials set to meet

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US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan urged Turkey to ratify membership of Sweden and Finland into NATO, speaking ahead of talks with his Turkish counterpart in Washington on Tuesday.

Officials from Turkey, Sweden and Finland have been trying to break an impasse that has held up the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s expansion since the two Nordic countries were invited to join in June. Turkey is putting pressure on Sweden to crack down on groups Ankara considers as terrorist in order to allow the ascension.

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“I believe there is no reason it can’t be secured by the summit this summer for both Finland and for Sweden,” Sullivan told reporters ahead of talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s special adviser and spokesman Ibrahim Kalin.

The two men “will have the chance to talk about this issue as well as 127 other issues that are relevant to the US-Turkey relationship,” Sullivan said.

Turkey has linked Sweden’s new anti-terrorism law to the ratification and also voiced opposition to the July deadline set by its allies for enlargement completion.

Meanwhile, Finland’s application has met less resistance from Turkey, with officials from Ankara signaling their intention to proceed with the process that is backed by the US.

Read more: Sweden, Finland and Turkey hold NATO talks, agree to more meetings

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