Turkey says it will not allow ‘terrorist support’ countries to enter NATO
President Erdogan said negotiations with Finland and Sweden were not as expected and that Turkey would not allow countries that “support terrorism” to join NATO.
“As long as Tayyip Erdogan is the country’s leader, we certainly cannot allow countries that support terrorism to join NATO,” the Turkish president told reporters when he returned from a state visit. Azerbaijan on May 28.
“They are not honest or sincere. We cannot repeat the mistake made in the past regarding countries that abet and nurture such terrorists within NATO, a security organization.” he added.
This latest statement shows that Turkey has not changed its tough stance on Finland and Sweden joining NATO.
Two sources earlier said that talks on May 25 between President Erdogan and the Finnish and Swedish delegations had not made much progress and it was not clear when further discussions would take place. To admit Finland and Sweden requires all 30 NATO members to approve the alliance expansion plan.
Ankara has accused Stockholm and Helsinki of being lenient with members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Turkey, the United States and the European Union (EU) consider terrorists. The two Nordic countries are also seen by Turkey as a refuge for supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a cleric whom Ankara accuses of masterminding the 2016 coup.
Sweden and Finland meanwhile said they condemn terrorism and welcome opportunities to cooperate with Ankara.
President Erdogan also said that Turkey wants to see the conflict between Russia and Ukraine end as soon as possible, but the situation is becoming more negative every day.
“On May 30, I will speak by phone with both Russia and Ukraine. We will continue to encourage the parties to promote channels of dialogue and diplomacy,” he said.
Vu Hoang (Follow Reuters)
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