Turkish President opposes Finland and Sweden’s NATO application

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opposes allowing Sweden and Finland to join NATO, jeopardizing the hopes of both Scandinavian countries to join the Western military alliance.

Erdogan, a NATO member since 1952, said on Friday a “positive view” in a move that could undermine Turkey’s efforts to strengthen relations with the United States and Europe after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Said that it cannot be taken.Possibility of both countries Membership bidding..

The obstacle was support for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Armed forces for decades He said to the Turkish state. It is classified as a terrorist organization by Ankara, the United States and the EU. The Turkish president has also nominated a far-left radical group.

“Scandinavian countries are like some kind of guesthouse for terrorist organizations,” Erdogan told reporters, referring to the Nordic countries. “They are even in Congress.”

“At this point, we can’t look forward to this,” he added.

Some Swedish officials and lawmakers are concerned that Turkey could pose the most dangerous opposition to potential NATO bids.

“Sweden has a lot of Kurds and a lot of MPs with a Kurdish background. Sweden is actively working on Kurdish issues. I think there is a backlash.” A senior Swedish official said earlier this month.

Finnish and Swedish diplomats have crossed Europe and the Atlantic to support NATO members that need ratification for them to join.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Saturday that Sweden and Finland are strong defense nations, “for that reason alone, their contributions will make NATO stronger.”

“Sweden and Finland are also stable democracies and have lived in peace with all their neighbors for decades,” she said. “And that is why all democracies must be pleased that democracies with strong defense capabilities thus make our defense alliance stronger.”

Russia said it threatened “serious military and political implications” if any country joined NATO and would stop on Friday because electricity exports to Finland had not been paid.

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde told Swedish radio on Friday that Turkey may be trying to get what it wants to take advantage of membership push. “We know that the ratification process is always accompanied by uncertainty, especially ratification can be used in domestic politics,” she added.

Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto encouraged patience and said: .. .. Let’s step through the problem. “

Some Finnish officials said Turkey’s problems seemed to be primarily in Sweden, and their own discussions with Ankara were positive.

Finnish officials were particularly focused on Hungary and were concerned that they might seek concessions to approve membership.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö met with Prime Minister Erdogan on April 4, saying the phone was “positive.” On twitter In addition, “Turkey supports Finland’s goals.”

Niinistö said Friday night that he and Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson had talked with US President Joe Biden, including the next steps towards Finland’s accession to NATO. “Finland is deeply grateful for all the necessary support from the United States,” the president added.

NATO officials expect Finland and Sweden to become official invitees within “a few weeks”, but all 30 existing members will approve the application. He said it could take 6-12 months.

The Finnish government will meet with President Sauli Niinistö on Sunday to finalize the country’s application. On the same day, Sweden’s ruling Social Democratic Party will announce their position before the government announces next week. Countries could choose to jointly send an application to NATO during Niinistö’s official visit to Stockholm next week.

Turkey has suffered a tense relationship with its NATO allies in recent years.America Sanctions imposed In retaliation for Erdogan’s decision to purchase and hand over a Russian-made S-400 air defense system in 2020.

Western nations, boosted by Turkey’s support for Ukraine after Russia’s invasion, Ankara supplied Kieu with armed drones and took steps to limit Russian military and military aircraft from passing through its airspace. rice field. Sanctions against Moscow.

Additional report by Guy Chazan in Berlin.

Turkish President opposes Finland and Sweden’s NATO application

Source link Turkish President opposes Finland and Sweden’s NATO application

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