Turkey has opposed Nordic states joining the bloc, accusing the countries of backing ‘terrorist’ groups
Turkey on Wednesday blocked NATO membership talks with Finland and Sweden, multiple media reported. Representatives of member states from the military bloc gathered to open negotiations just hours after the two nations formally submitted their candidacies. However, Ankara reportedly stopped the vote at the start of the talks.
Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the first stage of negotiations over the two nations’ bids could be concluded within a week or two. Turkey’s resistance makes it doubtful that this is still possible.
A spokesperson for the military bloc did not comment on the alleged stumbling block in the talks, but was quoted in the Financial Times as saying that “the security interest of all allies must be taken into account [and] we are committed to resolving all issues and reaching a speedy conclusion”. At the same time, the spokesperson claimed that Sweden and Finland were the NATO countries “closest partners”adding that their membership “would strengthen Euro-Atlantic security”.
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