In a significant development Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said, Ankara cannot allow countries that support terrorism to in NATO, in reference to Finland and Ankara’s bid to join the military alliance.
“For as long as Tayyip Erdogan is the head of the Republic of Turkey, we definitely cannot say ‘yes’ to countries which support terrorism entering NATO,” said Erdogan.
According to two sources familiar with the matter at hand, talks with Finnish and Swedish delegations made little headway; it is unclear as to when further discussions would take place.
All 30 NATO members must approve plans to enlarge NATO.
Turkey has challenged bids from Sweden and Finland on the grounds that both countries harbour people linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group and others deemed terrorist bodies.
“They are not honest or sincere. We cannot repeat the mistake made in the past regarding countries that embrace and feed such terrorists in NATO, which is a security organisation,” said Erdogan.
“Diplomatic efforts are ongoing. We decline to comment further at this moment,” said Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde.