Erdogan called NATO a condition for joining the alliance of Sweden and Finland

NATO chief Stoltenberg agreed that it is necessary to take into account the interests of Turkey, and pointed out the need to continue negotiations to find a solution for the membership of Finland and Sweden in the alliance

Jens Stoltenberg

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the entry of Sweden and Finland into the alliance. The head of the organization wrote about this on Twitter.

During the conversation, he pointed out the importance of the principle of “open doors”; in NATO. The Turkish leader also said that he supports this policy.

“We agree that it is necessary to take into account the security interests of all allies and continue negotiations to find a solution,”— emphasized Stoltenberg.

Nevertheless, Erdogan stressed that Ankara will not support the entry of the two Scandinavian countries into the alliance until they demonstrate their readiness to cooperate in the fight against terrorism, Reuters reports.

Speaker of the Finnish Parliamentarian Matti Vanhanen told YLE that Finland “certainly” join NATO. At the same time, he stressed that Helsinki cannot agree to change its legal norms because of Ankara.

“Turkey must understand that there is no chance of a political agreement. Innocent people are not extradited to another country, especially if there is a risk that they will be imprisoned or unreasonably convicted, — said Vanhanen.

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Earlier on May 21, Erdogan, during a telephone conversation with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, stated that support for representatives of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which Ankara considers a terrorist organization, is unacceptable. He urged Sweden to stop financial and military support for the groups.

In mid-May, Stockholm and Helsinki applied to join NATO. However, the Turkish president said that Ankara would not support these applications, since Helsinki and Stockholm refused to extradite the terrorists and imposed anti-Turkish sanctions.

According to the Turkish publication Sabah, Turkey proposed a manifesto to Sweden and Finland, the adoption of which became a condition for approval applications for NATO membership. Ankara urged to avoid contacts with the leaders of the PKK, to refuse to accept PKK members to the parliaments of both countries, to expedite the procedure for their extradition to Turkey.

The National Security Adviser to the American President Jake Sullivan on May 19 expressed confidence that Turkey's doubts would be resolved and NATO countries will unanimously decide on the countries' membership in the alliance.

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