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NATO is ‘confident’ that it can reach a consensus for quick admission of Finland and Sweden

NATO’s deputy secretary-general has expressed confidence that the alliance can soon reach a consensus on quickly admitting Finland and Sweden as full members.

According to Reuters news agency, the foreign ministers of 30 member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) held meetings this weekend in Berlin (Germany), which focused on reviewing membership of Finland and Sweden. The two countries are expected to officially apply to join NATO within the next few days.

However, on May 14, Turkey suddenly objected to the admission of Finland and Sweden, accusing the two countries of harboring Kurdish elements that Ankara considers “terrorists”. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey “does not have a positive position”, while Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the inclusion of these two Scandinavian countries in NATO was “outrageous and unacceptable”.

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Meeting between foreign ministers of NATO countries in Berlin (Germany) this weekend. Photo: Reuters

But after the meetings resumed today (May 15), NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana still expressed confidence that Ankara’s concerns can be resolved.

“Turkey is an important ally (of NATO), and the concerns they have expressed are being addressed by friendly allies and countries,” Geoana told reporters after the meeting. “I am confident that, if these countries (Finland and Sweden) decide to join NATO, we will be able to welcome them, and create all conditions for reaching a consensus.”

Many NATO member countries at the meeting in Berlin also supported the admission of Finland and Sweden, and emphasized the need to quickly ratify the two countries’ application to join the alliance.

“Germany has prepared everything to do a quick ratification process,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told reporters on May 15, and said at a dinner and discussion on May 14, NATO foreign ministers have agreed that there should be no “gray zone” – the waiting time for the ratification of the membership of Finland and Sweden, which can last up to a year.

“We have to be sure that we’re going to provide them with security guarantees, not allow a transition period, or a gray zone, where their status is unclear,” Baerbock said.

On the same day, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly also expressed hope for a speedy ratification process if Finland and Sweden decide to apply to join NATO. “I hope this can be done within a few weeks,” she told reporters in Berlin.

Besides Finland and Sweden, NATO foreign ministers at the meetings also reviewed the first draft of NATO’s new strategic concept, NATO’s basic military doctrine, which is expected to be drafted. agreed at the summit of coalition leaders in Madrid (Spain) at the end of June.

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