Turkey insists not to allow Finland and Sweden to join NATO unless…

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Turkey has insisted on not allowing Finland and Sweden to join NATO unless Turkey’s concrete security concerns regarding terrorism and sanctions are met. Photo/Illustration

ANKARA – After talks in Ankara on Wednesday, government spokesman Turki Ibrahim Kalin said that his government would not allow Finland and Sweden into the alliance NATO until Turkey’s “concrete” security concerns regarding terrorism and sanctions are met.

Kalin added that Ankara would not rush to reach a deal before the next NATO meeting.

Delegations from Sweden and Finland met their Turkish counterparts in Ankara for five hours of talks following their joint plea to join the NATO military alliance last week.

Their accession requires the unanimous consent of all 30 member states, and Turkey has threatened to block the process unless both countries crack down on groups deemed terrorists.

“Without meeting Turkey’s security concerns, any process on NATO expansion cannot proceed,” Kalin said at a press conference after the talks.

Read also: Erdoan Calls Sweden a Terrorist Nest, Threatens to Veto Efforts to Join NATO

“NATO is a security organization,” he said, adding that this means the alliance must ensure that the security concerns of its member states are met equally and fairly.

Turkey has demanded that Sweden and Finland lift restrictions on arms exports to Turkey, and they extradite people linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Gulen movement (FETO).

While Sweden and Finland both consider the PKK a terrorist organization, Turkey is also demanding that they apply the same designation to the YPG and PYD, the Kurdish military and political groups in Syria, respectively.

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