However, Cavusoglu said the schedule for accepting them as new members would depend on when Turkey's demands, agreed upon in a joint memorandum, were fulfilled. The 10-article memorandum was unveiled ahead of a NATO summit in June after Turkey had threatened for weeks to veto Sweden and Finland's applications.
“These two countries must take important steps on combatting terror because one of the biggest threats NATO is facing today is terrorism,” the Turkish minister said.
“It’s not possible to say right now that the two countries have completely implemented all aspects of the memorandum,” he added, while stressing that Turkey supports NATO’s enlargement.
Cavusoglu said Turkey sees t he new government in Sweden as "more determined" to fulfill the memorandum signed in Madrid. The new Swedish prime minister, Ulf Kristersson, is scheduled to visit Ankara on Nov 8, he said.
Turkey also has called for the lifting of an arms embargo imposed following its 2019 incursion into northern Syria to combat Kurdish militants. Sweden last month said it would lift the embargo, a step seen as aiming to secure Ankara's approval.
Cavusoglu acknowledged Sweden had changed laws and welcomed the lifting of the arms embargo as “an important step.” But he warned the changes must be permanent and Sweden must not reverse any steps once it secures NATO membership.
But Stoltenberg, in the strongest public statement of support that he has made for the candidates while on Turkish soil, was adamant they have done enough.
“I recognize your concerns. At the same time, it is clear Finland and Sweden have delivered on the memorandum and are committed to the long-term partnership with Turkey,” the former Norwegian prime minister told Cavusoglu.
Cavusoglu also underlined that Turkey doesn't have any major issues with Finland but because the Nordic countries want their membership process to go in tandem, the two were receiving the "same treatment" from Ankara.
All 30 NATO member countries must officially ratify the accession protocol for Finland and Sweden to join the alliance. Only the parliaments of Turkey and Hungary have yet to do so.
Cook reported from Brussels.