NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that Turkish reservations over Finland and Sweden joining the defense alliance must be taken into account, transmits MIA.
“Turkey is a valued Ally & any security concerns need to be addressed,” Stoltenberg tweeted Monday after a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
“We must stand together at this historic moment,” he added. Finland and Sweden recently announced bids to join NATO as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has heightened security concerns. Turkey has said it will only agree to them joining if certain conditions are met.
Erdogan on Monday again criticized the possibility of Finland and Sweden joining the alliance, saying he could not agree to the accession of countries that have imposed sanctions on Turkey.
He repeated comments that both countries support “terrorist organizations” including the Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK, which is banned in Turkey and the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria.
During a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin on Sunday, Cavusoglu had slammed several member states for restricting weapons exports to Turkey due to its fight against these groups.
Last week, Erdogan charged that the Scandinavian countries were downright “guest houses for terrorist organizations.”
How Turkey can be dissuaded from vetoing NATO membership for Sweden and Finland is unclear.
Diplomats say statements by the two northern European countries on the fight against terrorism and arms deals could play a role.