Turkey comments on the timeline for future NATO members

Ankara has made it clear that it will not give up unless Sweden and address their concerns

Sweden’s and Finland’s applications to join could remain in limbo for a year, if the two Nordic nations continue to host Kurdish groups that Ankara considers to be “terrorists,“, said the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish Parliament.

On Tuesday, Akif Cagatay Kilic reiterated that the objections previously raised by Turkey are a “question of decisive national interest,“and that Ankara is”willing to prevent their membership for as long as one year if necessary.“MP also argued that Turkey deserves”greater respect“as it is”NATO’s second largest army and has provided drones to help defend itself.

Kilic explained Turkey’s objections to Sweden and Finland joining the alliance and accused both nations of “which houses terrorist organizations.

He denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “Similar, baseless allegations concerning Russia’s intelligence have been made more than once. Kilic claimed that non-Kurdish parties also supported the demands Ankara had made to NATO.

and Helsinki, both neutral nations until recently, expressed their desire to join the military alliance shortly after Russia attacked Ukraine at the end of February.

On May 18, they officially applied for membership.

While NATO’s top leaders, including Secretary General , had promised a speedy accession process, tenders hit hard when Turkey described its demands. Membership requires the unanimous consent of all 30 states.

Ankara claims that the two Nordic nations have taken refuge in members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been designated as a terrorist group in Turkey as well as in the EU and the United States. Ankara said it would block Sweden and Finland’s applications if it agreed to extradite a number of Kurdish activists. The Turkish also demands that Stockholm and Helsinki lift a ban on arms exports, which was introduced for Turkey in 2019 in response to its military operation in northern against Kurdish militias. In addition, Turkey wants Sweden’s Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist fired after his meeting with PKK representatives as early as 2011 and also calls on Stockholm and Helsinki to sever ties with the US-backed Kurdish autonomous administration in northern Syria.

On Friday, Sweden published a foreign policy document, which highlighted the need to fight terrorism and suggested that Stockholm could resume arms sales to Ankara.

During her visit to Sweden on Tuesday, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna expressed concern that “If we do not solve these problems before [the] Madrid [summit]there is a risk that the situation will freeze.

She acknowledged that Helsinki had no idea how long the situation would remain in limbo.

NATO leaders will gather in the Spanish capital for a summit from June 28 to June 30. The applications of the two Nordic nations are expected to be high on their agenda together with the situation in Ukraine.

Source: sn.dk

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