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Turkey’s President Opposes Finland and Sweden’s Entry into NATO

The President of Turkey this Friday expressed his unfavorable opinion on the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO. Turkey’s reaction is the first dissenting voice within NATO.

The Turkish President expressed himself, this Friday, against the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO, for welcoming Kurdish militants that Turkey considers as terrorists, in the first dissonant voice within the 30 allies.

We are carefully following developments concerning Sweden and Finland, but we are not of a favorable opinion,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul, quoted by AFP and AP agencies.

Erdogan said he did not “want to see a repeat of the mistake made” against Turkey with Greece’s entry into NATO, accusing Helsinki and Stockholm of “harboring PKK terrorists”, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

“Scandinavian countries, unfortunately, are almost like guesthouses of terrorist organizations,” Erdogan said, citing the PKK, classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey, but also by the European Union (EU) and the United States.

Turkey’s reaction is the first dissenting voice within NATO on the prospects of joining Finland and Sweden.

According to article 10 of the treaty, “the parties may, by unanimous agreement, invite any other European State” to join the organization.

Turkey and Greece joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1952, three years after the creation of the military alliance.

Since the beginning of the crisis and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Turkey has tried to maintain good relations with the two countries, on which its economy is closely dependent.

In the wake of the war in Ukraine, Finland and Sweden started a debate on joining NATO, which, if implemented, will mean abandoning the historic position of non-alignment of the two countries.

The Swedish authorities released this Friday a report by the government and the parties on the possible accession, in which advantages for the entry of Sweden are pointed out, including for security in northern Europe.

Finland is expected to make its decision official on Sunday, but its President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin have already said they support joining the alliance “without delay”.

In reaction, Russia has warned Finland that it will be forced to take retaliatory measures, “both military-technical and otherwise”, if the country joins NATO.

Russia shares 1,340 kilometers of land border with Finland and a maritime border with Sweden.

Before the invasion of Ukraine, Russia demanded that NATO ban the neighboring country’s entry into the organization and withdraw allied troops and weapons to the 1997 positions, before the eastward enlargement.

NATO refused such demands.

Source: With Agencies

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