With Finland and Sweden seeking NATO membership, Turkish Foreign Minister said, in order to gain entry into the military alliance both countries must stop supporting terrorist groups in their respective countries, provide clear security guarantees and lift export bans on Ankara.
At a NATO Foreign Minister’s meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, his Swedish and Finnish counterparts must address Turkey’s concerns to gain entrance to the NATO alliance.
He went on to add, this is in reference to Sweden’s support for the PKK Kurdish militant group, which is deemed as a terrorist group by the European Union, Turkey, and the United States.
“There absolutely needs to be security guarantees here. They need to stop supporting terrorist organizations,” said Cavusoglu while adding, “Swedish and Finnish bans on exporting of some of their defence sector goods to Turkey must end”.
“Our stance is perfectly open and clear. This is not a threat, this is not a negotiation where we’re trying to leverage our interests,” said Cavusoglu.
“This is not populism either. This is clearly about two potential member states’ support for terrorism, and our solid observations about it, this is what we shared.”
Cavusoglu said, talks with Sweden and Finland have been good and that Turkey would consider their suggestions to alleviate its legitimate concerns; he also mentioned that he has provided proof of terrorists living in their states.
Singling out Sweden for disrespecting its position, Cavusoglu said, terrorists from PKK had a meeting in Stockholm over the weekend.