Russia Isn’t the Only Country Opposed to Finland and Sweden Joining NATO…

Finland and Sweden have sent delegations to Ankara, Turkey to attempt to solve Turkish opposition to their applications for admission to the NATO military alliance, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto stated.

Ankara’s objections have actually put the brakes on what Sweden and Finland hoped would be a fast accession procedure as the two nations aim to fortify their security following Russia’s intrusion of Ukraine.

“We understand that Turkey has some of their own security concerns vis-a-vis terrorism,” Haavisto said during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “We think that these issues can be settled. There might be also some issues that are not linked directly to Finland and Sweden but more to other NATO members.”

Turkey states Sweden and Finland harbor individuals connected to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group and fans of Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara implicates of managing a 2016 coup effort.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry verified that talks would begin on the next day.

Turkey detailed 5 conditions for it to back Sweden’s NATO subscription quote, requiring that Sweden lift sanctions versus Turkey, consisting of an arms export embargo; end “political support for terrorism”; get rid of sources of terrorism funding and stop arms support to the PKK and its armed Syrian spin-off YPG, according to a list released by the president’s directorate of interactions.

“Sweden, which has applied for membership, is expected to take principled steps and provide concrete assurances regarding Turkey’s security concerns,” the directorate said in the statement.

“Since 2017, our country has requested the extradition of PKK/PYD and FETO terrorists from Sweden but has yet to receive a positive response,” it said, referring to Syria’s main Kurdish party PYD and Gulen’s group FETO in addition to PKK.

A Turkish official stated Turkey would not backtrack in its talks with Sweden and Finland unless concrete development was made to resolve Ankara’s security issues, including it was not independently working out with Washington over the Nordic nations.

“There are a number of diplomatic initiatives ongoing,” Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said in a statement. “We have no further comments.”

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who has actually challenged Sweden and Finland joining up with NATO, held a telephone call with the leaders of the two Nordic nations on Saturday and discussed his issues.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto stated the talks were “open and direct.”

“I stated that as NATO allies Finland and Turkey will commit to each other’s security and our relationship will thus grow stronger,” Niinisto tweeted after the call.

Erdogan spoke likewise with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, informing him that Ankara would not look favorably on Sweden and Finland’s NATO quotes unless they plainly reveal cooperation in the battle versus terrorism and other concerns.

H/T GlobalNews.ca

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