Jens Stoltenberg says both countries are less likely to be candidates if Turkey does not respond.
If Turkey’s demands are not met, Finland and Sweden are unlikely to be NATO candidates for the upcoming summit of the alliance on June 28-30, the bloc’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg announced at a news conference with Spanish media on Thursday.
The NATO chief acknowledged Ankara’s stance against the bloc’s acceptance of Sweden and Finland, and called on Turkey to discuss and resolve its concerns and demands.
Ankara has opposed the two Nordic countries joining the US-led military alliance, citing their support for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Gulen Movement (FETO) to consider Turkey a terrorist organization. Turkey claims that the two countries apply the same terrorist designation to these groups and extradite individuals associated with the organizations.
“No country has suffered so much in a terrorist attack as Turkey.” Stoltenberg added “Turkey is an important ally and if there is an ally’s concern, it should be discussed and the problem should be resolved.”
He noted that this was done in NATO, recalling that the Northern Macedonian candidate’s membership status had been in place for more than 10 years due to Greece’s veto, citing concerns such as Turkey’s, and that the issue had finally been resolved.
“Sweden and Finland may participate in the NATO summit in Madrid as guests, but if they do not respond to Turkey’s demands before June 28, it will be difficult for them to fulfill their desire to become candidate countries.”Stoltenberg insisted he wanted it to be “A quick process” And that was still enough time.
The two Nordic states decided on May 15 to refrain from a history of neutrality, prompting Russia’s military operation in Ukraine to join NATO. Their membership bids have been welcomed by Washington and its European NATO allies, however, Turkey and Croatia have threatened to block the applications until their national security concerns are resolved.
Moscow rejects applications from Sweden and Finland “Serious mistake with long lasting effects” But he said NATO’s aspirations were still lower than in Ukraine, which could face potential regional demands. “Huge risk for the whole continent” If it is accepted in the block.
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