NATO's enlargement not in interest of Turkey

TEHRAN, May 23 (MNA) – Turkish President says Ankara believes that NATO's enlargement policy without prioritizing basic security concerns is not in the interest of Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Ankara wants to see concrete steps rather than diplomatic statements about its security, Anadolu Agency reported.

Speaking at an event in the northwestern Kocaeli province, Erdogan said Turkey's security concerns should not be addressed by diplomatic statements amid Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership bid.

He stressed that Ankara believes NATO's enlargement policy without prioritizing basic security concerns is not good for either Turkey or NATO itself.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO on May 18 – a decision spurred by Russia’s ongoing military operation on Ukraine, which began in February.

However, Turkey, a longstanding member of the alliance, has voiced objections to the membership bids, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.

RHM/PR

News Code 187110

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