Turkish President Recep Tayyp Erdogan said Friday that his country is not in favor of Finland and Sweden joining NATO, and said that even accepting Greece into the alliance was a mistake.
Speaking to reporters, Erdogan said that they are following the development concerning Sweden and Finland carefully, demonstrating that Turkey could use its status as a member of alliance to veto moves to admit the two countries.
Erdogan explained his opposition by saying that Sweden and Finland allegedly supporting Kurdish militants and other groups which Ankara considered them as terrorist outfits.
“We don’t want to repeat the same mistake as we did by accepting Greece into the alliance,” Erdogan said, and accused Greece of using the NATO alliance against Turkey.
Erdogan’s comments came after Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin issued a joint statement and confirmed support for NATO application to join the alliance, and official decision in this regard would be made public in the coming days.
Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1952 and an application to join by either Finland or Sweden would need to be ratified by all 30 member states.
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