Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday his country opposes Finland and Sweden joining NATO, potentially blocking the two countries’ hopes for a quick accession into the alliance, as all 30 members have to approve new countries.
Erdogan told reporters Turkey is following the developments with Finland and Sweden carefully, “but we don’t hold positive views,” Reuters quoted him as saying.
Erdogan said he was opposed to the two countries joining because of their support for Kurdish militants and others that Turkey considers to be terrorist organizations, claiming “Scandinavian countries are guesthouses for terrorist organisations.”
Finland and Swedenalong with some Western allies, have offered continued support to the Kurdish people and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, while Turkey has been fighting against Armed Kurdish groups for decades.
A senior Turkish official told Bloomberg that Turkey wants Finland and Sweden to take a clear stance against Kurdish militants fighting in southeast Turkey, and that Turkey will hold negotiations over their membership.
Erdogan also said Turkey would not repeat the same “mistake” of allowing Greece to rejoin NATO’s military wing in 1980, claiming that Greece is trying to use NATO against Turkey, in a maritime dispute between the two countries, the Associated Press reports,
Turkey’s opposition comes one day after Finland’s president and prime minister said they support Finland applying to join NATO “without delay,” and in contrast with several European countries showing support for the move.
Credit: www.forbes.com /