Officials From Sweden, Finland Meet Aides to Turkish President Erdoğan Over NATO Bid
Officials from Finland meet with their Turkish counterparts in Ankara, Turkey, on May 25, 2022, in order to convince Turkey to support its bid to join the NATO alliance. (Xinhua via Getty Images)

Officials From Sweden, Finland Meet Aides to Turkish President Erdoğan Over NATO Bid

Senior officials from Sweden and Finland met on Wednesday in Ankara with representatives of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a bid to convince Turkey to lift its opposition to their requests to join the NATO alliance. Acceptance into NATO requires unanimous approval of all 30 current member countries. Turkey has said it will oppose accepting the countries as members of the military alliance over their perceived support of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has launched a decadeslong insurgency within Turkey, as well as other groups that Turkey sees as security threats. Sweden and Finland submitted their written applications to join NATO last week. The move is controversial since Finland shares an 830-mile border with Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February in part over its moves to join NATO. The Swedish and Finnish delegations on Wednesday met with Erdoğan’s spokesman, İbrahim Kalın, and Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal. Turkey has called on Sweden to stop its support for “terrorism,” including what Turkey says is its funding of the PKK and of arms for the Kurdish fighters. The two countries had hoped to quickly join NATO due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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