Erdogan to Sweden, no to NATO and Finland: “We must enter together”

Finland still hopes to join NATO alongside Sweden, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara might accept Helsinki’s candidacy, not Stockholm’s. Last year, Sweden and Finland applied to join the Atlantic Alliance after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but Turkey objected.

The three countries signed an agreement in Madrid to find a solution, but Turkey suspended talks last week after protests that included the burning of the Koran in Stockholm last week. Therefore, yesterday, Erdogan said that Ankara could accept Finland’s accession to NATO before Sweden, but Helsinki Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto announced that she intends to stay with the country’s closest military partner during the application process. “Our strong desire is still to join NATO with Sweden,” Haavisto said at a press conference in Helsinki. said. “We have emphasized to all our future NATO partners, including Hungary and Turkey, that Finnish and Swedish security go hand in hand,” he said.

Of the 30 NATO members, only Turkey and Hungary have not yet approved the membership requests of the two Scandinavian countries. “I see the NATO summit in Vilnius in July as an important milestone, which I hope will be accepted by both countries as members of the alliance at the latest,” Haavisto said. said. Turkey, in particular, wants Sweden to take a clearer stance on a group it sees as terrorists, particularly Kurdish militants, and which it blames for the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. Sweden said it took it seriously. Turkey’s security concerns are serious and are implementing the tripartite agreement signed in June last year, but Ankara says that is not enough.

To complicate matters further, a series of recent diplomatic incidents have occurred: first on January 11, a mannequin representing Erdogan was hanged upside down at a parade in support of PKK separatist Kurds, and 10 days later, a xenophobic political figure was hung upside down. The burning of the Qur’an by leader Rasmus Paluden in front of the Turkish embassy in a demonstration authorized by the Swedish authorities. Two events that prompted Ankara to summon the Swedish ambassador to Turkey twice in a week, causing the dialogue between the delegations of the three countries to come to an abrupt halt and the trilateral meeting scheduled for February in Brussels to be postponed indefinitely.

Source: Today IT