Turkey’s Erdogan accuses Sweden and Finland of supporting terrorism, doubtlessly thwarting NATO aspirations

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Sweden and Finland of supporting terrorism on Saturday, indicating that Ankara doubtless will not let up its opposition to the Scandinavian international locations becoming a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Group amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

“For so long as Tayyip Erdogan is the head of the Republic of Turkey, we undoubtedly can’t say ‘sure’ to international locations which assist terrorism coming into NATO,” Erdogan instructed reporters as he returned from Azerbaijan on Saturday. 

Sweden and Finland formally utilized to hitch NATO earlier this month, which might characterize a historic enlargement of the Western army alliance. 

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks as he participates in a video conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel, from an old Ottoman palace, in Istanbul, Friday, March 19, 2021. 

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks as he participates in a video convention with European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel, from an outdated Ottoman palace, in Istanbul, Friday, March 19, 2021.  ((Turkish Presidency through AP, Pool))

Whereas NATO Secretary-Common Jens Stoltenberg has stated that the 2 Nordic international locations are welcome, however all 30 member nations should unanimously approve a rustic’s software 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 international locations’ alleged assist for members of the Kurdistan Staff Occasion militant group (PKK), which Turkey and the U.S. consider a terrorist group

The PKK, which desires to determine an ethnic homeland for the Kurds, has been at conflict with Turkey since 1984. 

President Joe Biden speaks during a media conference, after a NATO summit and Group of Seven meeting, at NATO headquarters in Brussels

President Joe Biden speaks throughout a media convention, after a NATO summit and Group of Seven assembly, at NATO headquarters in Brussels (AP Photograph/Markus Schreiber)

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 stated Friday that he’s assured Turkey will be capable to work out its variations with Sweden and Finland. 

KREMLIN CALLS FINLAND’S NATO MOVE A THREAT TO RUSSIA

“The USA totally helps Finland and Sweden becoming a member of the Alliance, and I proceed to be assured that each international locations will quickly be NATO Allies,” Blinken stated at a press convention alongside Finnish International Minister Pekka Haavisto. 

“Finland and Sweden are talking on to and with Turkey, and dealing by way of among the issues that Turkey has raised and discovering methods to deal with them.”

The method for becoming a member of NATO often takes eight months to a 12 months, however the alliance has indicated it desires to expedite the approval amid Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. 

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Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russia views Finland’s entry into NATO as a “menace,” although Russian International Minister Sergei Lavrov later downplayed the transfer as making “no massive distinction.”

Reuters contributed to this report. 

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