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Published: 16:51, January 24, 2023 | Updated: 18:01, January 24, 2023
Finland: Timeout needed in talks with Türkiye over NATO bid
By Reuters
Published:16:51, January 24, 2023 Updated:18:01, January 24, 2023 By Reuters

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto talks to the press during an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Jan 23, 2023. (JOHN THYS / AFP)

HELSINKI- Finland's foreign minister said on Tuesday a timeout of a few weeks is needed in the talks between Finland, Sweden and Türkiye on the two Nordic nations' plans to join the NATO military alliance.

Türkiye's president said on Monday that Sweden should not expect his country's support for NATO membership after a protest near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm at the weekend including the burning of a copy of the Koran.

"A timeout is needed before we return to the three-way talks and see where we are when the dust has settled after the current situation, so no conclusions should be drawn yet," Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"I think there will be a break for a couple of weeks," he added.

ALSO READ: Finland's government sends NATO accession bill to Parliament

A timeout is needed before we return to the three-way talks and see where we are when the dust has settled after the current situation, so no conclusions should be drawn yet ... I think there will be a break for a couple of weeks.

Pekka Haavisto, Finland's Foreign Minister

Sweden and Finland applied last year to join North Atlantic Treaty Organization after the conflcit in Ukraine.

They now need the backing of all current NATO states to progress with their application.

But alliance member Türkiye has said Sweden in particular must take a clearer stance against what Ankara sees as terrorists, mainly Kurdish militants and a group it blames for a 2016 coup attempt in Türkiye.

Finland and Sweden have repeatedly said they plan to join the alliance simultaneously, and this has not changed, Haavisto said.

READ MORE: Türkiye urged to ratify Finland and Sweden's NATO applications

"I do not see the need for a discussion about that," Haavisto said when asked whether Finland could potentially go ahead without Sweden.

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