Sweden, Finland should end their support of terrorism if they want to join NATO, says Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Cavusoglu has said in the past Finland and Sweden must give clear security guarantees in order to become NATO members. (AA) NATO's new strategic concept should include a resolve to fight all forms of terrorism, the Turkish foreign minister has said.
In a joint news conference with his Romanian and Polish counterparts following a trilateral meeting on Friday, Mevlut Cavusoglu said Sweden and Finland should end their support of terrorism if they want to join NATO.
Cavusolgu said Türkiye’s stance on the two countries’ NATO bids is «clear and unequivocal.»
«I hope Finland and Sweden understand our messages,» he added.
Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO last week, a decision spurred by Russia's military offensive against Ukraine, which began on February 24.
Cavusoglu has previously said Türkiye has always supported the idea of NATO's expansion, but it has concerns over Finland and Sweden’s desire to join the alliance given their relations with terror groups.
READ MORE: Türkiye urges Sweden, Finland to end support to terror groups
Polish FM Zbigniew Rau at the 10th Trilateral Foreign Ministers Meeting of Türkiye:
– We reaffirm security and stability at regional scale
– We agreed to increase NATO response to security challenges on Turkish borders
– Russia can be deterred through our unity pic.twitter.com/rSGWTe7ib8
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) May 27, 2022 Point of contention
Türkiye, a longstanding NATO member, has criticised the Nordic countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.
These groups include the PKK – a designated terrorist organisation in the US, Türkiye and the EU – its Syrian wing YPG, and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye.
Ankara hosted consultations with Swedish and Finnish delegations on their NATO applications in the capital on Wednesday.
According to presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin, the Nordic nations have been informed that their NATO bids cannot progress unless Türkiye's security concerns are addressed through concrete steps and within a certain timeframe.
Western leaders have expressed confidence that Ankara's concerns would be addressed.
READ MORE: Turkish forces find Swedish anti-tank weapons in northern Iraq PKK hideout
READ MORE: NATO chief recognises Türkiye’s concerns over Sweden, Finland bids
Source: TRTWorld and agencies
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