U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrive for a meeting in Ankara, Turkey February 20, 2023. REUTERS/Cagla Gurdogan

ANKARA, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that Washington strongly supports Sweden and Finland’s early NATO membership, given the progress they have already made, although that his Turkish counterpart had underlined the need for new, more concrete measures.

“The United States strongly supports Nordic membership as soon as possible…NATO expansion with Sweden and Finland is not a bilateral issue,” Blinken told a conference. joint press with Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara.

Speaking alongside Blinken, Cavusoglu said all parties to the alliance must convince Sweden in particular to take more action to address Ankara’s concerns and win their support for the bid.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Huseyin Haksever in Ankara; Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing in Spanish by Flora Gómez)

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