Turkey says Finland, Sweden’s NATO offer no progress until Ankara’s concerns are addressed – Xinhua

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Swedish officials meet with their Turkish counterparts in Ankara, Turkey, May 25, 2022. Turkey has set conditions for the Swedish and Finnish delegations to gain its support in the two Nordic countries’ bids to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). , Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Wednesday. (Xinhua)

ANKARA, May 25 (Xinhua) — Turkey has set conditions for the Swedish and Finnish delegations to gain support for the two Nordic countries’ bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). , Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Wednesday. .

Kalin, who also took part in Turkey’s talks with the two European countries, said the procedure for Sweden and Finland to join the military alliance will not advance unless concrete steps are taken to meet the Turkey’s concerns.

Swedish and Finnish officials met their Turkish counterparts in the Turkish capital Ankara on Wednesday to try to resolve differences with Turkey, which opposes their bid for NATO membership.

“Our expectation was to take concrete steps to combat the presence of terrorist organizations… We passed on the information and the documents on this,” Kalin told a press conference after their meeting.

“We have said that this procedure will not be possible until Turkey’s security problems are resolved,” he said, adding that Finnish and Swedish officials had taken notes and would submit them to their governments. .

Turkey will continue consultations with Finland and Sweden until the two countries respond to Turkey’s concerns, according to Kalin.

Sweden and Finland have officially submitted their applications for NATO membership. However, Turkey is the only NATO member to have opposed their offers so far, accusing both countries of backing the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units ( YPG) from Syria.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for more than three decades, and Ankara considers the YPG to be the Syrian branch of the PKK.

Turkey has also accused the two Nordic countries of harboring members of the Gülen movement, which Ankara says is responsible for a failed military coup attempt in 2016.

“We have sent 28 extradition requests to Sweden and 17 to Finland, unfortunately we have received no response,” Kalin said, referring to members of those groups.

Ankara also expects sanctions against the Turkish defense industry to be lifted, he said, adding that Ankara has seen a positive development on the issue.

Sweden and Finland restricted defense industry exports to Turkey following the country’s cross-border operation in northeast Syria in 2019.

Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin speaks during a news conference after Turkey’s talks with Sweden and Finland in Ankara, Turkey, May 25, 2022. Turkey set the conditions for delegations Swedish and Finnish obtained his support on the candidacies of the two Nordic countries. to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Wednesday. (Xinhua)

Finnish officials meet with their Turkish counterparts in Ankara, Turkey, May 25, 2022. Turkey has set conditions for the Swedish and Finnish delegations to gain its support as part of the two Nordic countries’ bids to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). , Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Wednesday. (Xinhua)

Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin speaks during a news conference after Turkey’s talks with Sweden and Finland in Ankara, Turkey, May 25, 2022. Turkey set the conditions for delegations Swedish and Finnish obtained his support on the candidacies of the two Nordic countries. to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Wednesday. (Xinhua)

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