Skip to content

Watch: Finnish Foreign Minister meets with US Secretary of State in Washington

Haavisto said that Turkey has the right to raise its concerns and that the groundwork for dialogue has started.

Ulkoministeri Pekka Haavisto tapasi Yhdysvaltain ulkoministerin Washingtonissa
Ulkoministeri Pekka Haavisto tapasi Yhdysvaltain ulkoministerin Washingtonissa

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) met in Washington on Friday to discuss Finland's Nato membership, which has been stopped in its tracks by Turkey's security concerns.

Speaking from the Benjamin Franklin Room of the State Department, Blinken expressed strong US support for Finland and Sweden's Nato membership. He also added that there is still a strong consensus for both Nordic countries joining the alliance, despite Turkey's objection.

"The United States fully supports Finland and Sweden joining the alliance and I continue to be confident that both countries will soon be Nato allies," Blinken told reporters.

The war in Ukraine and European security as a whole were also on the docket for the discussion between the two top diplomats.

Haavisto emphasised that discussions with Turkey are ongoing. The aim is to resolve Turkey's apprehension by the Nato summit in Madrid beginning on 29 June.

"We hope that we will continue the constructive discussion with the member states and that we are ready to continue our discussion on the issues with Turkey. We take the concerns of each member state seriously," Haavisto reiterated.

Haavisto said he understood Turkey's reservations and that Finland stands with them on labelling the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) as a terrorist group.

"The PKK is a forbidden organisation in Finland. We are part of those solutions in the European Union, where terrorist organisations are listed. It’s the same in Sweden and so forth, and these are the answers that we are giving, of course, in this case to Turkey," Haavisto clarified.

Haavisto said that Finland and Sweden have open dialogues with Turkey. This past week Finnish and Swedish delegations travelled to Turkey to discuss membership in the alliance.

The next step in the processing of Finland and Sweden's Nato applications is for it to be discussed in the Nato Council. Then the candidate countries issue a letter of intent, to which the Secretary General of Nato responds. The member states then sign the accession protocol before each country separately ratifies the new members' accessions.

"We hope that our membership will be ratified quickly, as soon as the accession protocol has been signed," Haavisto said.