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    Turkey Favors Approving Finland’s NATO Bid Before Sweden’s

    Turkey Favors Approving Finland’s NATO Bid Before Sweden’s

    ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey could greenlight 's membership in NATO before that of , if the alliance and both Nordic countries agree to it, the Turkish foreign minister said Monday.

    But Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haaivisto poured cold water on that suggestion, saying it was important that Finland and Sweden join NATO at the same time.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu defined Finland's application as “less problematic” than that of Sweden. Turkey accuses Stockholm of failing to take concrete steps to crackdown on groups that Ankara considers to be terrorists. More recently, has been incensed by Quran-burning protests that were staged outside the Turkish embassies in Stockholm and Copenhangen by an anti-Islam activist who holds Swedish and Danish citizenship.

    “In my opinion it t would be fair to differentiate between the problematic country and the less problematic country,” Cavusoglu told journalists during a joint news conference with his visiting Portuguese counterpart. “We believe that if NATO and these countries take such a decision, we can evaluate (Finland's bid) separately.”

    Sweden and Finland applied jointly to become members of the military alliance, dropping their longstanding military nonalignment following Russia's war on Ukraine.

    NATO requires unanimous approval to admit new members. Turkey and have been delaying the ratification process of the Swedish…

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