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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Sweden and Finland of supporting terrorism on Saturday, indicating that Ankara seemingly will not let up its opposition to the Scandinavian nations becoming a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Group amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“For as long as Tayyip Erdogan is the head of the Republic of Turkey, we definitely cannot say ‘yes’ to countries which support terrorism entering NATO,” Erdogan advised reporters as he returned from Azerbaijan on Saturday.
Sweden and Finland formally utilized to hitch NATO earlier this month, which might signify a historic growth of the Western navy alliance.
Whereas NATO Secretary-Common Jens Stoltenberg has mentioned that the 2 Nordic nations are welcome, however all 30 member nations should unanimously approve a rustic’s utility to hitch the alliance.
SWEDEN, FINLAND NATO BID: OFFICIALS TRAVEL TO TURKEY IN PUSH TO OVERCOME THEIR OBJECTIONS
Turkey’s opposition to Sweden and Finland’s entry into NATO stems from the Scandinavian nations’ alleged assist for members of the Kurdistan Staff Celebration militant group (PKK), which Turkey and the U.S. contemplate a terrorist group.
The PKK, which needs to determine an ethnic homeland for the Kurds, has been at battle with Turkey since 1984.
Sweden and Finland additionally halted arms gross sales to Turkey in 2019 after the nation launched an incursion into northern Syria.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned Friday that he’s assured Turkey will have the ability to work out its variations with Sweden and Finland.
KREMLIN CALLS FINLAND’S NATO MOVE A THREAT TO RUSSIA
“The United States fully supports Finland and Sweden joining the Alliance, and I continue to be confident that both countries will soon be NATO Allies,” Blinken mentioned at a press convention alongside Finnish International Minister Pekka Haavisto.
“Finland and Sweden are speaking directly to and with Turkey, and working through some of the concerns that Turkey has raised and finding ways to address them.”
The method for becoming a member of NATO normally takes eight months to a 12 months, however the alliance has indicated it needs to expedite the approval amid Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov mentioned that Russia views Finland’s entry into NATO as a “threat,” although Russian International Minister Sergei Lavrov later downplayed the transfer as making “no big difference.”
Reuters contributed to this report.