By Dave DeCamp
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stood agency on Thursday in his opposition to Finland and Sweden’s bids for NATO membership, saying Ankara is not going to drop its objections.
“We now have advised our related buddies we might say ‘no’ to Finland and Sweden’s entry into NATO, and we’ll proceed on our path like this,” Erdogan mentioned.
Turkey is against the Nordic international locations becoming a member of NATO over their alleged help for the PKK, a Kurdish militant group Turkey and the US think about a terrorist group. “NATO is a safety alliance and we can’t settle for terrorists to be in it,” Erdogan mentioned.
Ankara additionally needs Finland and Sweden to raise arms export restrictions they imposed on Turkey in 2019 after Erdogan launched an offensive in northeast Syria in 2019. “We can’t say ‘sure’ to those that impose sanctions on Turkey, on becoming a member of NATO,” Erdogan mentioned earlier within the week.
On Wednesday, Sweden and Finland formally utilized to hitch the navy alliance, however Turkey blocked the alliance from holding early talks on their memberships. To ensure that the international locations to hitch, all 30 NATO members have to consent.
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto visited Washington on Thursday and mentioned Helsinki was working to persuade Ankara to raise its objection. “We’re open to discussing all of the issues Turkey might have regarding our membership in an open and constructive method. These discussions have already taken place, and they’ll proceed within the subsequent days,” he mentioned.
The US and most different NATO members have welcomed the Nordic international locations’ functions and look like assured that they’ll have the ability to be a part of regardless of Turkey’s seemingly agency stance. NATO Secretary-Normal Jens Stoltenberg mentioned that he expects the dispute with Turkey to be resolved.