NATO: in Finland, Stoltenberg does everything to reassure Turkey

Discussions around Finland and Sweden joining NATO, which Turkey opposes, continue intensively. This Sunday, June 12, the Secretary General of the Atlantic Alliance met the Finnish President in Naantali, near Turku. And everything has been done to reassure Ankara.

“We have to listen to Turkey, we understand their concerns. At the end of the meeting between NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, the tone was one of appeasement.

Moreover, it was recalled that the geographical position of Turkey, at the gates of Syria and Iraq, was crucial. That this country has taken in more refugees than any other in the Atlantic Alliance. That he suffered a record number of attacks.

Ankara is opposed to the accession of Finland, and especially of Sweden, which is home to many Kurdish opponents of President Erdogan, “terrorists”, in the eyes of Ankara.

But according to those familiar with the matter, Turkey would be ready to make concessions on this point. What would really interest it is the lifting of the sanctions which weigh on its defense industry, and which prevent it, for example, from producing its own combat aircraft.

One thing is certain, whatever Turkish position, President Niinistö assured that Finland and Sweden would continue to move forward hand in hand. The Secretary General of NATO will also be on the other side, in Sweden, on Monday to continue these discussions.

Turkey who is blocking of Sweden and Finland’s NATO memberships could last

Turkey’s blocking of NATO membership applications from Sweden and Finland may not be resolved in time for the Alliance summit scheduled for the end of the month, the secretary general of the NATO said on Sunday. ‘NATO, Jens Stoltenberg.

He said NATO is “working hard” to resolve the “legitimate” issues raised by Turkey.

Jesn Stoltenberg had previously insisted that both 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. However, “the Madrid summit was never a deadline”, he assured.

“Legitimate Concerns”
At the beginning of June, during a visit to Washington, Mr. Stoltenberg had declared that his “intention” was to settle the question before the meeting which is due to open on June 28.

Jens Stoltenberg said 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 said. underline.

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.

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