Turkey has told allies it’s a ‘no’ to Sweden and Finland’s NATO bid – Erdogan

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan holds a news conference during the NATO summit at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium June 14, 2021. REUTERS / Yves Herman

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ISTANBUL, May 19 (Reuters) – Turkey has told allies that it will reject Sweden and Finland’s membership to NATO, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in a video posted on his Twitter account on Thursday.

Finland and Sweden formally applied on Wednesday to join US-led NATO, a decision spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Turkey’s objections have come as a surprise to the other members of the alliance. read more

“We will continue our policy in a determined way. We have told allies that we will say no to Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership,” Erdogan said in an interview with students? late on Wednesday.

The Turkish president said Sweden and Finland harbor and finance “terrorists” and supply them with weapons, repeating Ankara’s accusation that the countries support groups that it deems terrorists, namely the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group and Syrian Kurdish YPG, which it also views as a terrorist group closely tied to the PKK.

“NATO is a security alliance and we can not accept terrorists to be in it,” Erdogan also said.

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Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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