Turkey confirms opposition to NATO membership for Sweden, Finland

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says delegations from the 2 international locations bidding for NATO ‘shouldn’t trouble’ coming to Ankara for discussions.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has confirmed Turkey’s opposition to NATO membership for Finland and Sweden, capturing down a proposal by the Nordic international locations to ship delegations to Ankara to handle the matter.

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“We will not say ‘yes’ to those [countries] who apply sanctions to Turkey to join security organisation NATO,” Erdogan stated at a information convention on Monday, referring to Sweden’s 2019 resolution to droop arms gross sales to Turkey over its navy operation in neighbouring Syria.

Turkey additionally accused the 2 bidding nations of harbouring “terror” teams, together with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), blacklisted by Ankara, the European Union and the United States.

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“Neither of the countries have a clear stance against terror organisations,” Erdogan stated. “How can we trust them?”

Justice ministry sources advised the state information company Anadolu on Monday that Sweden and Finland had failed to reply positively to Turkey’s 33 extradition requests over the previous 5 years.

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Ankara needed people which are both accused of getting hyperlinks to the PKK and allied teams or of belonging to a motion blamed for the tried overthrow of Erdogan in 2016, the company reported.

Turkey has rebuked Stockholm particularly for displaying what it describes as leniency in the direction of the PKK, which has waged an armed rebellion in opposition to the Turkish state since 1984.

The Swedish overseas workplace stated earlier on Monday that senior representatives of Sweden and Finland had been planning to travel to Turkey for talks to handle Ankara’s objections.

Erdogan reacted to the feedback by saying: “Will they come to persuade us? Excuse us, but they shouldn’t bother”. He added that NATO would change into “a place where representatives of terrorist organisations are concentrated” if the 2 international locations be part of.

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Ankara’s approval can be essential for Finland and Sweden to have the ability to be part of NATO,  as membership bids have to be unanimously authorized by the alliance’s 30 members.

Stefanie Babst, former NATO deputy assistant secretary-general for public diplomacy and an analyst on the European Leadership Network, advised Al Jazeera that “Turkey will, in the end, align with the consensus and welcome Finland and Sweden as new members”.

“In the meantime, they will try to bargain in negotiations in order to get some returns,” she stated.

Turkey could also be aiming to acquire navy tools from Washington to improve its outdated F-16 fleet and ratchet up some Western help to alleviate its troubled economic system. On the home entrance, the analyst stated the point out of the PKK was geared toward drawing the help of Erdogan’s nationalist voters.

Ankara’s newest rebuke got here after Sweden’s authorities formally determined to use for NATO membership. Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson made the announcement on Monday, a day after Finnish President Sauli Niinisto confirmed that Finland may even apply for membership.

“We are leaving one era behind us and entering a new one,” Andersson advised a information convention, including that the applying might be handed in on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and can be synchronised with Finland.

Turkey stunned its NATO allies final week by saying it could not view their purposes positively.

On the sidelines of a gathering of NATO overseas ministers in Berlin on Sunday, Ankara adopted a extra conciliatory tone and laid down its calls for, saying it needed the 2 international locations to finish help for teams such because the PKK and raise the ban on arms gross sales.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said that Sweden and Finland would be capable of be part of NATO regardless of Turkey’s issues. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg additionally stated he was assured “that we will be able to address the concerns that Turkey has expressed”.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is scheduled to fulfill with Blinken in Washington on Wednesday, the place Ankara’s objections are anticipated to determine excessive on the agenda.


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