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Turkey expresses opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO

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O presidente Recep Erdogan alegou que os países escandinavos abrigam organizações terroristas curdas: entrada de novos membros na OTAN precisa ser aprovada por unanimidade pelos países que já a integram

President Recep Erdogan claimed that Scandinavian countries harbor Kurdish terrorist organizations: entry of new NATO members must be unanimously approved by the countries that are already members| Photo: EFE/EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this Friday () who does not see “positively” the possible entry of Finland and Sweden into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Western military alliance. He claimed that Scandinavian countries are home to Kurdish terrorist organizations.

“We are following developments, but we do not see this in a positive light,” the Turkish president said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Scandinavian countries are like hostels for terrorist organizations. The PKK and DHKP-C took refuge in Sweden and the Netherlands. They even got space in local parliaments. Right now, it’s not possible for us to see this in a positive light,” Erdogan said, citing a group seeking an independent state for the country’s Kurdish minority and a banned Marxist organization in Turkey.

The Foreign Ministers of Sweden and Finland said they would discuss the matter with their Turkish counterpart at a NATO meeting to be held over the weekend in Berlin, to which the two countries were invited. The Netherlands did not comment on Erdogan’s accusation.

This week, Sweden and Finland said they will formally apply for NATO membership. Once militarily neutral, the two countries changed their position on joining the alliance after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A possible Turkish denial of the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO would be a problem, because Turkey is part of the alliance and the charter of the organization stipulates that, for a country to become a member, it must be unanimously accepted by those who are already members.

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