Turkey’s blocking of Sweden and Finland’s NATO memberships could last: NATO chief
Published on 13.6.2022 by Epoch Times with AFP
The blockage by Turkey applications for membershipNATO of the Sweden and some Finland may not be resolved in time for the Alliance summit scheduled for the end of the month, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday.
He said that NATO ” work hard “ to solve problems “legitimate” raised by Turkey.
Mr Stoltenberg had previously insisted that the two countries would be welcomed ” with open arms “but Turkey blocked their applications.
Ankara accuses them of offering refuge to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group classified as “terrorist” by Turkey and its Western allies.
“I would like this issue to be resolved as soon as possible”Stoltenberg said Sunday at a joint press conference in Finland with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.
Nevertheless, “the Madrid summit was never a deadline”he assured.
At the beginning of June, during a visit to Washington, Mr. Stoltenberg had declared that his ” intention “ was to settle the matter before the meeting which is due to begin on 28 June.
Mr. Stoltenberg said that Ankara had raised “legitimate concerns”.
“We must understand and remember that no other NATO ally has suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkey. And also that Turkey is an important ally with a strategic geographical location”he pointed out.
Any NATO membership agreement must be approved unanimously by its thirty members.
The two Nordic countries have repeatedly expressed surprise at Turkey’s objections, saying Ankara had signaled its support for their membership applications until they submitted them.