Finland and Sweden should be able to reach an agreement with Turkey over Ankara's objections to the two Nordic countries joining the 30-nation NATO alliance, Finland's president said on Tuesday.
Turkey had said on Monday that it would not support membership for Sweden and Finland after the two countries took the widely anticipated step of agreeing to apply to join the U.S.-led alliance this week.
"I am sure that, with the help of constructive discussions, we will solve the situation," President Sauli Niinisto said during an address to Sweden's parliament.
"We have to continue our discussions. I am optimistic."
Turkey says Sweden and Finland harbor individuals it says are linked to groups it deems terrorists, namely the PKK militant group and followers of Fethullah Gülen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt.
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Saturday, ahead of talks with her Turkish counterpart at a NATO meeting in Berlin, that Sweden just like the rest of the European Union considered PKK a terrorist organisation.
Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Erdoğan also said Turkey would oppose the NATO bids from those who imposed sanctions on it. Sweden and Finland slapped arms export embargoes on Turkey after its Syria incursion in 2019.
"They know that Sweden and Finland inside the alliance is good for the alliance as a whole and I do not foresee they will block this in the end," Anna Wieslander, Director, Northern Europe, at security policy think tank the Atlantic Council said.
"But they will negotiate along the way."