Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to insist on his country’s concerns about Sweden and Finland joining NATO. The two countries must first take “concrete and serious” steps, for example against the Kurdish organizations PKK and YPG, Erdogan made clear, according to his presidential office, in another telephone call with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Saturday.

Sweden and Finland applied to join the defense alliance in mid-May. So far, however, Turkey has blocked the admission process and justifies its position with the alleged support of Finland and Sweden for “terrorist organizations” such as the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK and the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG. Sweden and Finland reject this.

With regard to the PKK, the two countries would have to “change their attitude”, according to Erdogan. In addition, the two states should guarantee to lift an arms embargo and promise not to resort to similar tactics in the future.

In another phone call with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, Erdogan repeated his demand for certain people to be extradited or deported, the Turkish side said.

From Wednesday next week, the heads of state and government of the 30 alliance states will meet for a two-day NATO summit in Madrid.