Turkey not to approve Finland, Sweden NATO membership

TEHRAN, May 17 (MNA) – Turkey's President Erdoğan said diplomatic delegations from the two countries should not even bother coming to Ankara to discuss the move.

Turkey has said it will not approve Sweden and Finland joining it as NATO members, hours after Stockholm followed Helsinki in a historic Nordic security policy shift by formally confirming that it intended to apply for membership of the alliance.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said diplomatic delegations from the two countries  should not even bother coming to Ankara to discuss the move, according to the Guardian 

“We will not say yes to those [countries] that apply sanctions to Turkey to join the security organisation NATO,” Erdoğan said. “They say they will come to Turkey on Monday. Will they come to persuade us? Excuse us, but they shouldn’t bother.”

The Turkish president’s comments came as Sweden’s prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, said “a broad majority” in parliament backed NATO membership as “the best thing for the security of Sweden” – drawing a warning from Moscow.

Sweden was “leaving one era behind us and entering a new one”, she said. The Finnish government confirmed its intention to join NATO on Sunday, shortly before Andersson’s ruling Social Democrats abandoned 73 years of opposition to the idea.

Andersson said Sweden’s NATO ambassador would formally hand over Stockholm’s application to the alliance headquarters in Brussels “within the next few days” and that the membership request would be submitted simultaneously with Finland’s.

Turkey says the two countries' history of hosting members of PKK  and Sweden’s suspension of arms sales to Turkey since 2019 are the reasons for its objection to NATO membership of Finland and Sweden. .

News Code 186874

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