NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced Wednesday that he has summoned representatives from Turkey, Finland and Sweden to a meeting in Brussels on 7 July to try to unblock Stockholm's accession to the Alliance, which Ankara and Budapest are still vetoing.
"We are working to finalise Sweden's accession. That's why I have called another meeting of senior officials from Turkey, Sweden and Finland for Thursday 7 July," Stoltenberg said at a press conference with Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas after meeting with her.
The Allied Secretary General said that "the time has come to welcome Sweden as a full member of NATO".
Stoltenberg spoke by telephone three days ago with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who insisted that Sweden must prevent protests by supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on its territory to receive Ankara's approval for NATO membership.
The PKK is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, Sweden and the European Union. Ankara also considers the Kurdish YPG militia to be a mere offshoot of the PKK, while the EU does not consider it a terrorist organisation.
Turkey, along with Hungary, is the latest country to hold back Sweden's accession to the Atlantic Alliance, accusing it of a lax stance towards the PKK, the Kurdish guerrilla group active in Turkey.
Finland, which applied for NATO membership along with Sweden, will participate for the first time as a full member in an allied summit in Vilnius on 17-18 July.