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Turkiye's talks with Sweden, Finland on NATO bids begin in Ankara

Turkiye's talks with Sweden, Finland on NATO bids begin in Ankara

Ankara has objected to membership bids of Stockholm, Helsinki, criticized them for tolerating, supporting terrorist groups

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With a proposed NATO expansion in the balance, consultations on Sweden and Finland’s applications to join the alliance hosted by Turkiye began Wednesday at the presidential complex in the capital Ankara.

The Turkish delegation at the meeting is headed by presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal. The visitors include Oscar Stenstrom, Swedish state secretary for foreign affairs and security, and Jukka Salovaara, Finnish permanent foreign ministry state secretary, along with their delegations.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO last week – a decision spurred by Russia's war on Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24.

But Turkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, has voiced objections to their membership bids, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.

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