Turkey blocks Finland and Sweden’s accelerated NATO accession for the time being | NOW

On Wednesday, in the first meeting of the thirty NATO member states after Sweden and Finland’s membership application, Turkey prevented the countries from considering the request. A spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that “Turkey’s concerns” must first be allayed.

Erdogan wants, among other things, that Finland and Sweden change their attitude towards the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Turkey and the European Union consider that party a terrorist organization, but Sweden is said to be hosting alleged PKK members. Turkey wants those people to be extradited.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has repeatedly expressed the wish on behalf of NATO to admit Finland and Sweden as soon as possible. On Wednesday, he reiterated that “all member states are determined to deal with all issues and reach a swift conclusion”.

As long as Sweden and Finland do not officially belong to NATO, they cannot count on the automatic protection of the Western military alliance. However, countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States have already pledged to intervene if Russia becomes aggressive.

Turkey was the only country to stop the accelerated procedure

Turkey was the only country that objected to starting the follow-up process of the accession process, alliance sources tell news agency ANP and international media such as The Guardian.

Intensive consultations are taking place between Ankara, Stockholm and Helsinki to remove Turkey’s resistance. This includes the United States, the main pillar of NATO, among others.

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