Erdogan: Turkey will freeze Finland, Sweden's NATO bids if conditions not fulfilled
Turkey will freeze Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership bids if the two countries do not keep their promises on counter-terrorism, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.
“I would like to remind once again that if Sweden and Finland do not meet our conditions for their NATO membership, we will stop the process,” state broadcaster TRT quoted Erdogan as saying.
Erdogan added that he believed Sweden was “not showing a good image” currently.
Sweden and Finland sought to enhance their security through NATO membership, ending decades of military nonalignment in an historic move driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Turkey declared in May it had objections to the two countries joining NATO, accusing them of supporting Kurdish militants, namely the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), whom Ankara considers to be a terrorist organization, and failing to extradite dozens of suspected “terrorists,” specifically the followers of Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt.
However, the three countries signed an accord last month that confirmed Ankara’s support to Finland and Sweden’s NATO bids, given that they agreed on cooperation in security and counter-terrorism.