Finland, Sweden, Türkiye to meet soon for NATO bid: FM Çavuşoğlu
Finland and Sweden have yet to meet their commitments arising from the trilateral deal for their NATO bid, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Aug. 11, adding that the mechanism with the Nordic countries will hold its first meeting on Aug. 26.
He described the Swedish and Finnish authorities as “well-intentioned,” but stressed the need for solid steps.
“We see that they have not yet fulfilled their commitments. There are statements, but we underline that we always want to see concrete steps,” the minister said, speaking at the Ambassadors’ Conference.
“We want to learn why the necessary steps are not taken. There is no time pressure for us. Of course, we have [time pressure] for the issue on terror,” he said.
The trilateral mechanism that was established to assess the progress made in the framework of a memorandum signed at the NATO summit in Madrid in June with Finland and Sweden will hold its first meeting on Aug. 26, he added.
Türkiye offered to hold the first meeting of the mechanism in July, but the Nordic countries responded to hold the gathering in August, Çavuşoğlu said.
Responding to a question about whether a timetable is being worked on with Russia regarding possible military operations against the YPG group in Syria, Çavuşoğlu said: “We do not create a calendar with other countries for operations. Of course, we always inform those who are not there to avoid accidents, when the operation starts. After all, our goal is to clean up terrorists.”
Asked if Turkish officials have contact with Syrian authorities other than the dialogue between intelligence agencies, the top Turkish diplomat said: “There is currently no such contact. Our president has already answered that question. After all, for a long time already, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and Russian officials say, ‘Let’s get you in touch with the regime’ ... They wanted to have Assad and our president meet. Our president said that the meeting with the intelligence services would be beneficial.”
Çavuşoğlu stated that there were previous meetings between intelligence services, but then there was an interruption. “Now it has started again. After all, many important issues come up in the meeting between these intelligence [agencies],” he said.
Çavuşoğlu said he had a brief conversation with Faisal Mekdad, the Syrian regime’s foreign minister, at the non-aligned movement meeting in October in Serbia’s capital Belgrade.
“Terrorists need to be cleared. Whoever they are, whatever their names are. But on the other hand, we also said that there should be peace between the Syrian opposition and the regime and that we, as Türkiye, can support this in such a situation,” he said.
There must be a strong administration in Syria to prevent any division of the country, he said, adding: “The will that can dominate every corner of its lands can only be achieved through unity and solidarity.”
He emphasized the need to take steps for rebuilding war-torn Syria since 2011.