Blinken backs speedy Nordics accession to NATO

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) shakes hands with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu before their meeting in Ankara, Türkiye, Feb 20, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)

ANKARA – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday Washington strongly supports Sweden and Finland's quick NATO accession given steps they have already taken, even as his Turkish counterpart stressed the need for more concrete steps.

"The United States has strong support for the Nordic accession as quickly as possible… Sweden and Finland's NATO expansion is not a bilateral issue," Blinken said in a joint news conference with Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara.

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Cavusoglu, alongside Blinken, said all parties in the aliance must convince Sweden in particular to take more action to address Ankara's concerns and win its support for the bid.