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Türkiye says Finland's NATO bid may be considered separately from Sweden

Türkiye may show a different approach to Finland's NATO bid than Sweden, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday.

"If NATO and these countries (Finland and Sweden) take such a decision, we, as Türkiye, think that we may evaluate the applications separately, but first of all, NATO and these countries have to decide," Cavusoglu told a joint press conference with his Portuguese counterpart Joao Gomes Cravinho in the capital Ankara.

"I think it would be fair to distinguish between a problematic country and a less problematic country," he added.

Cavusoglu said his Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto and he made an assessment during a phone talk after Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Sunday remarks on Ankara's attitude towards Finland's NATO bid.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO last May, a decision spurred by Russia's war on Ukraine, which started on Feb. 24, 2022.

Under a memorandum signed last June between Türkiye, Sweden, and Finland, the two Nordic countries, pledged to take steps against terrorists in order to gain membership in the NATO alliance.

Unanimous agreement from all NATO members – including Türkiye, a member for more than 70 years, is needed for any new members to be admitted to the alliance.

Türkiye says the countries, particularly Sweden, need to do more, especially in the wake of provocative terrorist demonstrations and burning of copies of the holy Quran in Stockholm.

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