Helsinki: The Finnish government said ”Representatives from Turkey, Sweden and Finland met on Friday in the Finnish city of Vantaa and agreed to continue talks on the Nordic countries’ ascension to NATO at the expert level in the coming fall.
Turkey, Finland and Sweden signed a trilateral memorandum in Madrid on June 28, agreeing to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism and establish a permanent joint mechanism to monitor the memorandum’s implementation.
“Finland hosted the first meeting of the Permanent Joint Mechanism at Konigstedt Manor in Vantaa, Finland on 26 August, with the participation of experts from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Justice and Defense, from the Presidential and Prime Ministerial Administrations, as well as Intelligence Services,” the statement said .
”The parties discussed the concrete steps to implement the trilateral memorandum and agreed that the mechanism will continue with an expert-level meeting taking place this fall”, the statement added.
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Finland and Sweden are awaiting the ratification of their NATO applications. As of August 25, 23 countries out of 30 have already completed the formal procedure to welcome Finland and Sweden to the alliance.
The applications have not been ratified by Spain, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Hungary. On May 18, three months after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine, Finland and Sweden submitted their NATO membership applications, abandoning decades of neutrality.
Turkey previously blocked the applications’ review process over Helsinki and Stockholm’s long-standing support of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Turkey deems terrorist, and demanded the Nordic states stop supporting the PKK.