"The door to NATO is open" Biden tells Finland and Sweden that Turkey is blocking talks

President of the United States has said that the United States strongly supports the accession of and Sweden to and describes both in NATO "strong democracies."

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and the of Sweden Magdalena Andersson met at Biden’s White House on Thursday to discuss recent obstacles to their countries ’applications to join the Transatlantic Military Alliance.

According to the US authorities, the visit of the two leaders will to resolve Turkey’s decision to block the accession negotiations between Finland and Sweden.

Speaking about Turkey’s position, Biden said so "The door to NATO is open"adding "the accession of new members to NATO is not a threat to any nation, it never has been."

President Niinistö said that the United States, by supporting Finland and Sweden, could set a "an important example for others".

"On February 24, I said the masks had fallen and we only see the cold face of the war. The Russian war in has changed Europe and our security environment," Niinistö said at a news conference after the leaders’ meeting.

Sauli Niinistö’s meeting with Biden on Thursday is the second visit of the President of Finland to Washington in the last three months. Mandel Ngan / AFP

Finland and Sweden were due to start membership talks with the NATO in Brussels on Thursday, but Finnish and Swedish representatives will have to wait until Turkey’s position on the applications is revoked.

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip has accused two "protection of terrorists," with reference to the pro-independence Kurdish militants in the countries, and has since drawn up a list of requirements to be met before Finland’s and Sweden’s applications for membership can be considered.

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu added that both countries must provide security guarantees, and the list of requirements also draws attention to the US ban on arms sales.

Turkey had previously expressed a desire to acquire about 100 F-35 fighters from the United States, but the White House blocked sales in 2018, citing the acquisition of Turkey’s S-400 missile defense system from Russia.

Niinistö comments on Turkey’s objections to Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO applications "Finland has always had extensive and good bilateral relations with Turkey. As allies of NATO, we are committed to Turkey’s security, just as Turkey is committed to our security."

The President added that Finland took terrorism seriously.

"We condemn terrorism in all its forms and take an active part in the fight against it. We are open to discussing any concerns" he said.

Source: The Nordic Page

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