Turkey’s talks with Sweden and Finland made little progress on NATO concerns, say sources close to the talks.

ANKARA, May 27 (Reuters) – Talks between Turkish officials and Swedish and Finnish delegations this week in Turkey made little headway in overcoming Ankara’s objections to the Nordic countries joining NATO, and it is not yet clear when that will happen. will hold further discussions, according to two sources

“It is not an easy process,” a senior Turkish official told Reuters on Friday. “They need to take concrete steps that will be difficult. Negotiations will continue. But the date does not seem very close.”

Finland and Sweden formally applied to join NATO last week to bolster their security against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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All 30 NATO members must approve expansion plans. But Turkey disputed the move, saying the Nordic countries harbor people linked to what it calls terrorist groups, and because they have stopped arms exports to Ankara. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday that his country hopes that Sweden and Finland will take concrete steps and stop such support before he raises his objections. read more

A separate person close to the situation said Wednesday’s talks made no clear progress and ended without a timetable for continuing, raising the possibility that Turkey may still oppose membership offers when NATO holds a summit on 29 March. and June 30 in Madrid.

The Swedish and Finnish foreign ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.

The five-hour discussions were cordial and included separate sessions between Turkish officials and counterparts from the two Nordic countries, followed by trilogue talks with all sides, the second source added.

A third source told Reuters that Turkish officials downplayed the prospects of reaching a deal ahead of the Madrid summit.

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Reporting by Orhan Coskun and Jonathan Spicer Editing by Daren Butler and Frances Kerry

Our standards: the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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