According to diplomatic sources, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto spoke over the phone about the NATO enlargement process and the latest developments in Ukraine.

Türkiye, a NATO member for more than 70 years, made it clear that it will oppose Finland's NATO membership if Ankara's security concerns are not met.
Türkiye, a NATO member for more than 70 years, made it clear that it will oppose Finland's NATO membership if Ankara's security concerns are not met. (AA Archive)

Türkiye’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto have discussed the NATO enlargement process, according to diplomatic sources.

The two ministers spoke about a variety of topics during a phone call on Thursday, according to the sources cited by Anadolu Agency.

Türkiye, a NATO member for more than 70 years, had made it clear that it will oppose Finland and Sweden's NATO membership if Ankara's security concerns are not met.

In June, Sweden and Finland struck a deal with Türkiye that included provisions on extraditions and sharing of information on PKK terror group, clearing the way for NATO to invite the two nations to join the alliance formally.

During the phone call, Cavusoglu emphasised that Türkiye will resolutely continue its fight against terrorism as part of the Operation Claw-Sword, according to the sources.

On Sunday, Ankara launched Operation Claw-Sword, a cross-border aerial campaign against the YPG/PKK terror group which has illegal hideouts across the Iraqi and Syrian borders where they plan attacks on Turkish soil.

READ MORE: Türkiye: Over 250 terrorists neutralised in northern Iraq, Syria operation

Supporting terror groups

Sweden and Finland applied to join the alliance, a decision spurred by Russia's offensive against Ukraine. But Türkiye, a longstanding member, voiced objections, criticising the countries for tolerating and even supporting terror groups.

"...Finland and Sweden will not provide support to YPG/PYD, and the organisation described as FETO in Türkiye. Türkiye also extends its full support to Finland and Sweden against threats to their national security," said Türkiye's memorandum of understanding Sweden and Finland signed last June.  

YPG is the Syrian extension of the PKK terrorist organisation and the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) is the group behind the 2016 defeated coup. 

Since 1984, the PKK has carried out numerous terror attacks in Türkiye, killing at least 40,000 Turkish civilians, including women and children. The group espouses a Marxist-Leninist separatist ideology, attempts to alienate Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin and believes in achieving its goals by terrorising the state and civilians.

Developments in Ukraine

During Thursday's phone call, the ministers also discussed the latest developments in Ukraine as well as the landmark Istanbul grain deal, according to the sources.

More than 10 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain have been shipped since Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul in late July.

It was extended in late November for another 120 days, once again through mediation efforts by Türkiye and the UN.

READ MORE: Istanbul grain deal benefits Ukraine, world in multiple ways: UN official

Source: AA