No progress has been seen on the return of terrorist suspects as part of a trilateral deal with Finland and Sweden for the Nordic countries’ NATO bid, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday, reports TurkicWorld with the reference Daily Sabah.
Speaking after a NATO meeting in Romania, Cavusoglu said: "These two countries have taken some steps in regard to their commitments, we do not ignore these steps. However, there is no concrete progress on some issues, especially on the return of criminals and the freezing of assets of terrorist elements.”
On another note, he also said that Türkiye welcomes the new Swedish government's commitment to the fight against terrorism.
The Turkish people and the parliament have to be convinced to approve Finland and Sweden’s NATO accession, he added.
Seeking Türkiye's greenlight to join NATO, Sweden and Finland's foreign ministers on Tuesday met their Turkish counterpart on the sidelines of a meeting of the alliance in the Romanian capital Bucharest.
For Sweden and Finland to become NATO members, their applications must be ratified by all 30 NATO members. So far, 28 have already done so – only Türkiye and Hungary have votes still pending.
Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO in June, a decision spurred by Russia's war on Ukraine.
However, Türkiye voiced objections to the membership bids, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.
A trilateral memorandum at the NATO Madrid summit signed among the countries in June stipulates that Finland and Sweden will not provide support to the PKK's Syrian offshoots, the YPG and the PYD, or the Gülenist Terrorist Group (FETÖ) – the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye.
Sweden and Finland agreed earlier this summer to assure Türkiye of their support against security risks.