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FM Haavisto - Finland has met Turkey's conditions

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said on Wednesday that Finland has met the conditions set by Turkey for approval of Finland's Nato membership application.

Pekka Haavisto is attending a Nato Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bucharest, Romania. Image: Robert Ghement / EPA

The latest round of talks between representatives of Finland, Sweden and Turkey have taken place in a constructive and businesslike manner, according to Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green).

The foreign ministers of the three countries met in Bucharest, Romania, on the sidelines a Nato foreign ministers' gathering where they discussed Turkey's security concerns as well as the conditions Turkey has set for its approval of the Nato applications submitted by Sweden and Finland.

According to Haavisto, it was confirmed during the meeting that Finland has succeeded in fulfilling the commitments agreed upon with Turkey in relation to membership of the alliance.

Haavisto added, however, that Turkey did not present an exact date for its ratification of Finland's and Sweden's membership applications.

"It was noted that the discussions will continue. There will be contact between Finland and Turkey in the near future, both at the official level and certainly at the political level," he said.

Sweden's Billström: Progress has been made

Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström also noted the progress in the negotiations with Turkey regarding a memorandum of understanding agreed in Madrid last June.

Article continues after the photo.

Representatives of Finland, Sweden and Turkey in talks in Bucharest on Tuesday. Image: Joona Suni / Ulkoministeriö

Billström also noted that discussions between Sweden and Turkey will continue in the near future and that he will travel to Ankara for further talks with his Turkish counterpart.

Hungary's approval delayed

In addition to Turkey, the ratification of Swedish and Finnish Nato membership applications by Hungary is still pending.

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said that the Hungarian parliament could accept Finland and Sweden as members at the beginning of next year.

Finnish, Swedish and Hungarian representatives will discuss the accession process on Wednesday.

"We have been in constant contact with Hungary. The parliament's scheduled hearing [on the applications] has been moved a few times. Today, we will definitely hear what Hungary is doing," Haavisto said.

The Finnish foreign minister also said he expressed his disappointment to Hugarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó that the timetable for Hungary's ratification was shifted.

Support within Nato

According to Haavisto, the mood among all key Nato players is that it is time for Finland and Sweden to become members of the alliance.

However, the possibility of influencing the parliaments of the member countries is limited.

"We cannot influence Turkey's political decision-making in Finland and Sweden that much, but we can influence what we do ourselves, Haavisto stated.

Patience is still needed, said Haavisto, in negotiations on finalising membership.

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