Turkey has said it opposes the countries’ membership in the Western military alliance, citing grievances with Sweden’s — and a to a lesser extent Finland’s — perceived support of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and other entities that Turkey views as security threats.
A senior Turkish official insisted after talks with Swedish and Finnish officials Wednesday that Turkey would not agree to the two Nordic countries joining NATO unless specific steps are taken to address Ankara’s objections, AP reports.
“We have made it very clear that if Turkey’s security concerns are not met with concrete steps in a certain timeframe the process will not progress,” Ibrahim Kalin told a news conference after the talks in Ankara that lasted about five hours.
Kalin is the spokesman of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and a senior presidential aide.
Sweden and Finland submitted their written applications to join NATO last week, in a move representing one of the biggest geopolitical ramifications of Russia’s war in Ukraine that could rewrite Europe’s security map.
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