Erdogan continues to reject Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership
Finland and Sweden want to join NATO – but the Turkish president is skeptical about it. Erdogan reiterated his negative position. He says to the Finnish and Swedish delegations who want to go to Turkey: you shouldn’t even bother.
DTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again criticized Finland and Sweden’s possible NATO membership, despite efforts to reach an agreement by the defense alliance. We cannot accept the membership of countries that have imposed sanctions on Turkey, Erdogan said Monday in Ankara. He again accused the two countries of supporting “terrorist organisations” such as the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier this weekend criticized the existence of arms export restrictions due to Turkey’s fight against these groups and called for them to be lifted. Sweden has not delivered any weapons to Turkey since 2019 due to Ankara’s military operation in neighboring Syria.
Erdogan added that regarding the visit of a Finnish and Swedish delegation to Turkey, they should not even care. “Are they going to come and convince us? If so, no offense, they shouldn’t care,” he said.
The Turkish president had already caused turmoil in the alliance last week with negative statements about the possible NATO membership of Finland and Sweden. Many other NATO countries, including Germany, have declared their explicit support for Sweden’s and Finland’s membership plans. Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after a meeting of foreign ministers in Berlin on Sunday that Turkey had no intention of “blocking” Sweden’s admission and from Finland.
A unanimous NATO vote and ratification of the alliance’s enlargement by the parliaments of the current 30 member states is needed for Finland and Sweden to join.
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