Blinken says Finland and Sweden have already taken ‘concrete steps’ to meet Ankara’s requests

Blinken says Finland and Sweden have already taken ‘concrete steps’ to meet Ankara’s requests
# 20 February 2023 17:37 (UTC +04:00)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stressed Washington’s strong support for Sweden and Finland’s quick NATO accession, even as his Turkish counterpart stressed the need for more concrete action on the part of the Nordic countries, APA reports.

Speaking at a joint press conference after meeting Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, Blinken stated that the Nordic countries had acted upon the conditions set by Turkey in June last year when it agreed to lift its veto for Sweden and Finland on joining the US-led military alliance.

The US’s top diplomat, who is on his first trip to Türkiye since his appointment two years ago, said NATO’s Nordic expansion issue was not a bilateral one with Ankara and that Washington supported their accession into the alliance “as quickly as possible.”

“Finland and Sweden have already taken concrete steps to fulfill the commitments they met under the trilateral memorandum of agreement they signed,” Blinken said.

Washington also reaffirmed its commitment to delivering F-16 jets to Türkiye, despite Turkish insistence that their approval should not depend on the lifting of objections to Sweden joining NATO.

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