NATO is working together for an agreement between Sweden, Finland and Türkiye, says Stoltenberg.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg "welcomes Sweden’s recent steps in fighting terrorism". ()

Türkiye’s security concerns on Nordic membership bids are legitimate and must be addressed, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on Monday, ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid, Stoltenberg said “no ally has suffered more at the hands of terrorists...including grievous attacks by the terrorist group PKK.”

The NATO chief said the alliance should redouble its efforts in the fight against terrorism, and a special session devoted to NATO's counterterrorism efforts will be convened during the summit in the Spanish capital.

“We are now working together on an agreement between Sweden, Finland, and our ally Türkiye to further address security concerns, including around arms exports and the fight against terrorism,” said Stoltenberg.

Sweden, along with Finland, formally applied to join NATO last month, a decision spurred by Russia's attacks on Ukraine, which began on February 24.

But Türkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, has voiced objections to the membership bids, criticising the countries for tolerating and even supporting the terrorist groups such as PKK/YPG and FETO. 

READ MORE: Erdogan to meet with heads of Sweden, Finland, NATO in Spain summit

'Sweden condemns terrorism'

For her part, Andersson said “our stance regarding PKK is crystal clear. It is listed as a terror organisation by the European Union, and is regarded as such by Sweden.”

“Sweden condemns terrorism in the strongest possible terms. We are unequivocally committed to the fight against terrorists in all its forms and manifestations,” she added.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by Türkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people.

Swedish, Finnish, and Turkish officials met in Brussels on Monday, Sweden's premier said, voicing “strong hope that dialogue can be successfully concluded in near future.”

“Sweden will contribute to the security of NATO as a whole, including Türkiye, in the spirit of solidarity,” she said.

READ MORE: Türkiye: Sweden, Finland support to terrorists harms NATO

READ MORE: Documents from Finland, Sweden fail to meet expectations: Türkiye

Source: TRTWorld and agencies