All ready for quick Finland, Sweden membership in NATO

TEHRAN, May 15 (MNA) – NATO's Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Geoana and the German foreign minister have said that the military alliance will quickly admit Finland and Sweden membership despite Turkey's objections.

Foreign ministers from NATO's 30 member states are holding two days of talks this weekend in Berlin that are focused on the two Nordic countries' membership bids. Their formal application to join NATO is expected within days, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Sunday that NATO will fast-track membership applications of Sweden and Finland if they want to join the alliance.

However, on Saturday, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu unexpectedly raised objections, saying it was "unacceptable and outrageous" that the prospective new NATO members gave support to the outlawed Kurdish armed group PKK.

It was not immediately clear whether discussions between Cavusoglu and several NATO foreign ministers as well as their Finnish and Swedish counterparts later in the evening had yielded any progress in resolving the dispute, according to Reuters.

As talks resumed on Sunday, NATO's Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Geoana said he was confident Ankara's concerns could be addressed.

"Turkey is an important ally and expressed concerns that are addressed between friends and allies," Geoana told reporters.

"I am confident if these countries decide to seek membership in NATO we will be able to welcome them, to find all conditions for consensus to be met," he added.

KI/PR

News Code 186807

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