Turkey has opposed the Nordic states? membership of the US-led bloc and accuses them of supporting terrorist groups
Turkey has blocked NATO accession talks with Finland and Sweden, several media reported on Wednesday. It came as representatives of the member states of the military bloc gathered to begin negotiations just hours after both nations officially submitted their applications. However, Ankara has reportedly stopped voting at the beginning of the talks.
Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the first stage of negotiations on the two countries’ applications could be concluded within one or two weeks. Turkey’s opposition, however, casts doubt on whether this is still possible.
A spokesman for the organization did not comment on the alleged stumbling block in the talks, but was quoted in the Financial Times as saying that “the security interests of all allies must be taken into account. [and] We are determined to work through all issues and reach a speedy conclusion. “At the same time, the spokesman claimed that Sweden and Finland were NATO’s” closest partners “, adding that their accession” would strengthen Euro-Atlantic security. “
According to the German news agency dpa, Ankara has raised some “security issues” and said they can not agree to the talks begin immediately. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized other NATO members for not respecting Turkey’s “sensitivity” on this issue. He has also accused Stockholm and Helsinki of harboring “terrorists” on their land.
“We asked for 30 terrorists. They said, ‘We will not give them up,’ Erdogan told the Turkish parliament on Wednesday.” You will not hand over terrorists but you want to join NATO. We can not say “yes” to a security organization that lacks security, “the president added.