Erdoğan renews threat to block Sweden from joining NATO

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan again threatened to block Sweden from joining NATO.

According to Erdogan, “As long as the terrorist organisations are demonstrating on the streets of Sweden, and as long as the terrorists are inside the Swedish parliament, there is not going to be a positive approach from Turkey towards Sweden.”

Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership in mid-May in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The two countries can only be admitted if all of the current 30 NATO members ratify the necessary accession protocols.

Ankara has accused both Sweden and Finland of supporting Kurdish militants, as well as the group of U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, all of which Turkey classifies as terrorist groups.

Sweden and Finland refute these accusations but reached an agreement earlier this summer to assure Turkey of their support against security risks.

Turkey’s demands were repatriation of some suspects and Sweden lifting its arms embargo.

In September, Sweden approved the export of weapons to Turkey for the first time since 2019.

However, Turkey is now taking the position that agreements made at that time have not yet been fulfilled, especially by Sweden.

Erdoğan described relations with Finland in more positive terms.

Turkey and Hungary are now the only countries left to ratify the accession protocols.
Hungary has however not threatened to block the procedure. (NAN)

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