Cavusoglu is also expected to meet with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, among his counterparts from NATO member states in Bucharest.

Türkiye’s Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Estonian counterpart Urmas Reinsalu meet on the sidelines of the NATO meeting in Bucharest.
Türkiye’s Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Estonian counterpart Urmas Reinsalu meet on the sidelines of the NATO meeting in Bucharest. (AA)

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has met with his Estonian counterpart Urmas Reinsalu on the sidelines of a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Bucharest, Romania.

“NATO enlargement and recent developments regarding the war in Ukraine were on our agenda,” Cavusoglu said on Twitter on Tuesday.

Estonia is a former Soviet republic bordering Russia – like Ukraine, but less than one-tenth as large and about one-fortieth the population.

By NATO enlargement, Cavusoglu was almost certainly referring to the bids by Sweden and Finland to join the alliance.

Sweden's Tobias Billstrom and Finland's Pekka Haavisto also met with Cavusoglu on the sidelines of the NATO foreign ministers meeting.

The trio "reviewed steps taken in line with the Trilateral Memorandum and stressed (Türkiye’s) expectations," Cavusoglu said on Twitter. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned last month that Türkiye would not ratify the NATO membership bids of Sweden and Finland until the two Nordic countries "kept" promises they had made to Ankara.

Although Sweden and Finland hoped for a speedy entry, Türkiye raised objections citing concerns about their lack of interest in stopping the activities of PKK, a terrorist organisation.

READ MORE: 'Keep your promise to get into NATO' - Erdogan reminds Sweden, Finland

Supporting terror groups

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO in May, abandoning decades of military non-alignment, a decision spurred by Russia’s war against Ukraine.

But Türkiye – a NATO member for over 70 years – voiced objections to their membership bids, accusing the two countries of tolerating and even supporting terror groups.

Türkiye and the two Nordic countries signed a memorandum in June at the NATO summit in Madrid to address Ankara’s legitimate security concerns, paving the way for their eventual membership.

Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have warned that Türkiye will not give the nod to the membership of Sweden and Finland until the memorandum is implemented.

Unanimous consent of all 30 existing allied countries is required for a country to join NATO.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is its Syrian offshoot.

READ MORE: What are the pros and cons of becoming a NATO member?

Source: AA