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“Not Positive”: Turkey Opposes NATO Membership For Finland, Sweden

“We do not have a positive opinion,” Erdogan stated on Finland, Sweden’s NATO bid.


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday stated Turkey didn’t have a “positive opinion” on Finland and Sweden becoming a member of NATO, throwing up a possible impediment for the nations’ membership bid.

The chief of NATO-member Turkey spoke forward of anticipated confirmations from the Nordic nations on Sunday that they are going to apply to affix the Western army alliance.

Erdogan accused each nations of harbouring “terrorist organisations” in his unfavourable evaluation of the membership bids.

“We do not have a positive opinion,” Erdogan informed journalists after Friday prayers in Istanbul.

“Scandinavian countries are like a guesthouse for terror organisations,” he stated.

Turkey has lengthy accused Nordic nations, particularly Sweden which has a powerful Turkish immigrant group, of harbouring extremist Kurdish teams in addition to supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based preacher needed over a failed 2016 coup.

Erdogan cited a “mistake” made by Turkey’s former rulers who okayed Greece’s NATO membership in 1952.

“We, as Turkey, do not want to make a second mistake on this issue,” he stated.

– Unanimous approval wanted –

Moscow’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine has swung political and public opinion in Finland and Sweden in favour of membership as a deterrent in opposition to Russian aggression.

Both nations have lengthy cooperated with NATO and are anticipated to have the ability to be part of the alliance rapidly.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has repeatedly stated they’d be welcomed “with open arms”.

Turkey’s response is the primary dissenting voice in opposition to the 2 Nordic nations’ NATO prospects.

Sweden’s and Finland’s overseas ministers responded on Friday by saying they have been hoping to satisfy their Turkish counterpart in Berlin at an off-the-cuff assembly of NATO overseas ministers on Saturday.

“We will then have the opportunity to discuss a potential Swedish NATO application,” Sweden’s overseas minister Ann Linde stated in an announcement to AFP, additionally noting the “Turkish government had not delivered this type of message directly to us”.

Speaking at a Helsinki press convention, Finland’s Pekka Haavisto additionally stated he hoped to satisfy Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu through the weekend to “continue our discussion.”

Stockholm and Helsinki have cranked up their worldwide contacts to hunt help for his or her potential bids.

Once a rustic has determined to use for NATO membership, the alliance’s 30 members should agree unanimously to increase a proper invitation, which is adopted by membership negotiations.

The closing approval might then happen at a NATO summit in Madrid on the finish of June. The 30 member states would then must ratify the choice.

Turkey, which enjoys good relations with Kyiv and Moscow, has been eager to play a mediating function to finish the battle and has supplied to host a leaders’ summit.

Ankara has equipped Ukraine with fight drones however has shied away from slapping sanctions on Russia alongside Western allies.

– ‘Hungary of the EU’ –

Erdogan’s feedback may additionally increase tensions with France, whose President Emmanuel Macron has stated NATO was present process “brain death” partly as a result of Turkey’s behaviour.

Macron has made clear he helps Finland’s bid as does the United States.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated on Friday Washington was “working to clarify Turkey’s position”, including there was “broad support” for the 2 nations’ becoming a member of the alliance.

The Finnish president spoke with Erdogan in April as a part of consultations for its NATO bid.

“I thanked President Erdogan for his efforts for peace in Ukraine. Turkey supports Finland’s objectives,” he tweeted on the time.

Turkey’s place on Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership dangers making it appear like the “Hungary of the EU”, stated Washington Institute fellow Soner Cagaptay.

Pro-Russia Hungary typically breaks from its EU colleagues on a broad vary of points, together with rule of legislation and human rights.

Cagaptay stated Ankara ought to have negotiated its terror-related considerations behind closed doorways with the 2 nations.  

“The fact that this is done publicly is going to hurt Ankara’s image significantly,” he stated.

But Erdogan is “a clever tactician”, stated Elisabeth Braw, senior fellow on the American Enterprise Institute.

“He knows that this is an opportunity for Turkey to get something from NATO member states… F-35s, for example,” she stated, referring to US defence big Lockheed Martin’s jets.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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