Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu to meet Blinken amid Ankara’s dissent over Sweden and Finland’s NATO bid


As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan takes a tougher stance against Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO bids, despite much less strident statements from some of his top aides, US officials are trying to figure out how the mercurial leader is serious and what it will take to persuade him to back down. On May 18 in New York, US Secretary of State Blinken will meet Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Following confusing signals from Ankara regarding upcoming candidacies, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with his Turkish counterpart in New York on May 18 in a further attempt to clarify Ankara’s position after previous attempts seem simply muddying the waters. It should be mentioned here that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan previously said that the two countries could not join NATO due to their alleged support for groups that Turkey considers security concerns.

“It is not for us to speak on behalf of the Turkish government,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said repeatedly on May 17, in response to questions about what the United States United think of Turkey’s position and whether Turkey has asked anything from the United States in exchange for Finland. and Sweden joining the EU.

Sweden and Finland can only join NATO if all its members agree

Sweden and Finland will only be able to join NATO if all its members agree. Moreover, Turkish President Erdogan has previously said that the two Nordic countries should not send delegations to Turkey, to persuade it of their ambitions. Ankara said it would not support the offers, citing Sweden’s and Finland’s track record of hosting members of Kurdish militant groups, as well as decisions in 2019 to impose embargoes on the export of goods. weapons in Ankara due to Turkey’s military activities in Syria.

Notably, Erdogan’s threats to derail Sweden’s and Finland’s membership bids underscore a potential weakness that Putin has tried to exploit in the past: the unwieldy character of the consensual alliance, which allows only one member to reject the measures supported by the other 29. , Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary general, said the two countries would be welcomed “with open arms”, but their offers must be accepted by the 30 members of the alliance, and Turkey seems likely to throw a spanner in the works.

Image: AP

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