Turkish President sets condition for Sweden and Finland to join NATO | News from Germany about Europe | DW

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday, May 21, put Sweden and Finland condition on the issue of joining NATO, urging these countries to stop supporting terrorist groups. Turkey expects Sweden to take “concrete and important steps” to show that they are serious about Ankara’s concerns about the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), as well as its Iraqi and Syrian offshoots, Erdogan said in a telephone conversation with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. The PKK is considered a terrorist organization in Germany, the US and EU countries.

As the Turkish leader pointed out, the political and financial support from Sweden, as well as the supply of weapons to organizations recognized by Ankara as prohibited, should be stopped. At the same time, he called on Andersson to lift the restrictions imposed by Stockholm on Turkey in the defense industry, introduced in 2019 due to the actions of the Turkish army against the PKK and its allies in northern Syria and Iraq.

In a telephone conversation with the President Finland Sauli Niinistö Erdogan said it was “incompatible with the spirit of friendship and union” to turn a blind eye to “terrorist organizations” that pose a threat to a NATO ally.

NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg: We need to continue negotiations

Erdogan spoke on the phone and with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “Unless Sweden and Finland clearly demonstrate that they are in solidarity with Turkey on fundamental issues, especially regarding the fight against terrorism, we will not be positive about the membership of these countries in NATO,” Erdogan said.

As Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter, he discussed with Erdogan the significance of the “open doors” of the alliance. “We agree that it is necessary to take into account the security interests of all allies and continue negotiations to find a solution,” Stoltenberg said.

The decision of Sweden and Finland on NATO against the backdrop of the Russian war with Ukraine

Finland and Sweden on May 18 filed their applications to join NATO. Both Scandinavian countries want to join the North Atlantic Alliance because of aggressive war of Russia against Ukraine.

Initially, NATO hoped that the ambassadors of the 30 member countries of the alliance would be able to very quickly extend the invitation Finland and Sweden after submitting their application for membership in this organization. With his position, Erdogan slows down this process.

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