By Chris King • 18 March 2023 • 2:08
Image of Turkish flag next to the flags of Finland and Sweden,
Credit: Andrzej Rostek/Shutterstock.com
Speaking at a press conference this Friday, March 17, following talks with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan insisted that Ankara still does not support Sweden’s entry into NATO. He added that he is ready to continue discussing this process with Stockholm though, as reported by TASS.
Erdogan had just announced that Turkey would ratify the accession of Finland into the Alliance some 10 months after the initial application. Finland and Sweden made joint applications at the time in the face of potential threats from Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.
According to him, the Turkish side cannot support Sweden’s entry into the North Atlantic Alliance, since Stockholm ‘refused to extradite 120 terrorists’. Erdogan stressed that Turkey will continue to engage in dialogue with the Swedish side on this process, but it completely depends on the actions of those in Stockholm.
Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that he had discussed the expansion of the NATO bloc with his Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto. He also expressed his gratitude to the Helsinki government for its support after the devastating earthquakes that took place in Turkey in February.
So far, 28 out of 30 NATO members have ratified the accession of Finland and Sweden to the North Atlantic Alliance. Only Hungary and Turkey have not yet done so, as reported by gazeta.ru.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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