Erdogan says Turkey will not approve Sweden and Finland joining NATO

DAMASCUS, Syria (North Press) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated on Monday his country’s refusal to back Sweden and Finland joining to NATO.

On May 15, Finland formally announced that it intends to apply for membership into the Western NATO military alliance.

As far Sweden, the Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said in a press conference that “It is clear that there is a broad majority in Sweden’s parliament for Sweden to join NATO.”

 “Finland and Sweden have no clear stand against terrorist groups,” said Recep Tayyip Erdogan  during a joint news conference with his Algerian counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune in the capital Ankara.

 “First of all, we will not say yes to those (countries) who apply sanctions to Turkey to join the security organization NATO,” he said.

To become a NATO member, the Treaty states that NATO membership is open to any “European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area”. It states that any decision on enlargement must be made “by unanimous agreement.”

The Swedish Foreign Ministry announced that the Foreign Minister Anna Lindh and Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto will visit Turkey to discuss the issue of their joining to NATO.

Observers believe that Turkey is exploiting this opportunity in order to solve some outstanding problems, including the file of its joining to the European Union, its return to the F-35 program and the Russian S-400 missile crisis.

Erdogan alleged that Sweden and Finland were “home to many terrorist organizations,” referring primarily to the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.

In 2021, the relationship between Ankara and Stockholm witnessed tension at the backdrop of Sweden hosting a delegation of  the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES).

In the same year, the Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist participated in a press conference with the leaders of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Reporting by Adnan Hamo