Sunday, August 14, 2022

Turkish prez holds talks over NATO bids

Turkey’s president says he is engaged in “telephone diplomacy” with foreign counterparts over the bids by Sweden and Finland to join NATO.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated on Friday that his country is determined not to approve membership of the alliance for countries accused by Turkey of supporting what it calls “terror organisations”. Erdogan has placed an obstacle to Sweden and Finland joining the alliance. He accuses Stockholm — and to a lesser extent Helsinki — of supporting the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) and other groups that Turkey views as terrorists and a threat to its national security. Turkey, which has the second largest army in NATO, also accuses the two Nordic countries of imposing restrictions on exports of defence industry equipment to Turkey and of failing to extradite suspects wanted by Turkey.
Erdogan told reporters that he spoke to Netherland’s Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Friday and would hold further discussions with British and Finnish leaders on Saturday.
Sweden and Finland formally applied to join the military alliance this week. All 30 NATO members need to approve the entry of new members.


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