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Here’s why Turkey threatens to block Finland, Sweden’s Nato bids

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a joint news conference. Picture: Dai Kurokawa/EPA

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a joint news conference. Picture: Dai Kurokawa/EPA

Published May 17, 2022

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Cape Town - Following Sweden and Finland’s official bid to join Nato, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opposed the two Scandinavian countries' bids to join Nato.

According to Indo-Asian News, Erdogan told reporters during a press briefing on Monday that Sweden is a “hatchery” for terrorist organisations.

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“Neither of these countries have a clear, open attitude towards terrorist organisations. How can we trust them?” Erdogan asked before accusing the two nations of harbouring members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which is a group he views as a terrorist organisation.

Meanwhile, for the two Nordic nations to be accepted into the military alliance, all member states must agree that a new country can join and Turkey’s vote and support would then be required.

Erdogan further pledged to block applications from countries that have imposed sanctions on Turkey.

Meanwhile, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said during a briefing in Parliament in Helsinki on Monday, that he was surprised by Turkey's stance, and added that his government was not interested in “bargaining” with Erdogan.

“Nato will strengthen Sweden, Sweden will strengthen Nato,” Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said at a briefing.

Andersson added that Sweden, however, did not want permanent Nato bases or nuclear weapons on its territory.

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Norway, Denmark and Iceland, all Nato members, immediately said they were ready to support Sweden and Finland by all means necessary if they came under attack.

IOL

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