US ‘working to clarify Turkey’s position’ on NATO enlargement: White House

Washington is “working to clarify Turkey’s position” after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed opposition to Finland and Sweden becoming a member of NATO, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki mentioned Friday.

The concept of the 2 nations changing into members of the transatlantic alliance had obtained “broad support from NATO member countries,” Psaki mentioned.

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Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby likewise mentioned the United States is working to “better understand” Ankara’s stance.

“Turkey is a valued NATO ally; that has not changed. They have been involved and helpful in trying to get dialogue going between Russia and Ukraine, and they have provided assistance to Ukraine. So nothing changes about their standing in the NATO alliance,” he mentioned.

Erdogan instructed journalists on Friday that “we do not have a positive opinion” in regards to the two international locations becoming a member of the alliance, and mentioned they shelter “terrorist organizations.”

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

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

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

Read extra: Pentagon chief speaks to Russian counterpart for first time since Feb. 18

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