Ankara says it will prevent Sweden and Finland from joining the bloc because of their asylum record
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that NATO should address Ankara’s objections to the possible joining of Sweden and Finland to the alliance.
The two Nordic countries have decided to seek NATO membership, but Turkey has reduced their bids. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last Friday that his country would not support the bid for membership of Sweden and Finland, as they have complained. “Sheltering terrorists.”
On Monday, he said there should be no trouble sending a delegation to Ankara to discuss the Stockholm and Helsinki issues.
Stoltenberg tweeted Monday evening: “Turkey is a valuable ally and needs to address any security concerns. We must stand together in this historic moment. “ He had earlier expressed hope that Turkey’s opposition would not delay joining.
Talks have been held with the Foreign Minister EvMevlutCavusoglu About the decisions of our closest partners # Finland And # Sweden To apply #NATO Membership #Turkey A valuable ally and needs to address any security concerns. We must stand together in this historic moment.
– Jens Stoltenberg (nsjensstoltenberg) May 18, 2022
During an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers, Stoltenberg met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlুতt Cavusoglu. During a two-day event in Berlin, Cavusoglu reiterated his government’s objections.
There is a record of political asylum for Turkish people, especially ethnic Kurds, fleeing internal conflicts in Sweden and Finland. Turkey says some of these people are terrorists, and has criticized countries for hosting them.
In addition to tackling the issue, Sweden and Finland will have to lift trade sanctions with Turkey to gain the support of their NATO bids, Cavusoglu said on Monday.
Swedish Defense Minister Peter Haltkvist said on Monday he was preparing a delegation of diplomats to visit Turkey to try to resolve the issue. Finnish President Sauli Ninistিস্ত said last weekend “Surprised” Due to Ankara’s obstruction, however, Erdogan was ready to discuss the situation.
After Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, the two European countries decided to join NATO, breaking the history of their neutrality. Moscow has said that Sweden and Finland will compromise their security by joining a military bloc that Russia considers an enemy power, which is bidding for Washington.
Unlike other US allies, Turkey has refused to retaliate against Russia over the Ukraine crisis with economic sanctions and has acted as a mediator between Moscow and Kiev.
Russia invaded the neighboring country in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the first Minsk agreement, signed in 2014, and the final recognition of Moscow’s Donetsk and Lugansk’s Donbas republics. The German- and French-brokerage protocols were designed to give special status to isolated territories within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine formally declare itself a neutral state that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kyiv has insisted that the Russian invasion was completely unpopular and has denied claims that it is planning to forcibly retake the two republics.