Istanbul/Finland, Reuters. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has objected to Sweden and Finland joining NATO. Erdogan held phone conversations with the leaders of the two countries on Saturday and discussed his concerns about terrorist organizations. Turkey says Sweden and Finland harbor people linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group and followers of Fethullah Gülen, whom Ankara has accused of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt.

Erdogan told Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson that Ankara expected concrete steps to address its concerns, according to the Turkish president. He also said that the arms export ban imposed on Turkey after its incursion into Syria in 2019 should be lifted. Andersen said he appreciated the call and that Sweden looked forward to strengthening bilateral ties with Turkey. “I emphasize that Sweden welcomes the possibility of cooperation in the fight against international terrorism and emphasizes that Sweden unequivocally supports the fight against terrorism and the terrorist list of the PKK,” he said in a statement. does.

Ankara said that in another period, Erdogan told Finnish President Souli Niinisto that failing to deal with terrorist organizations posing a threat to a NATO ally would not be in the spirit of the coalition. Niinisto said he had open and direct talks with Erdogan and that he agreed to continue talks.

Turkey surprised its NATO allies last week by objecting to the two countries joining a military alliance, but Western leaders have expressed confidence that Turkey’s objections will not be a hindrance to the membership process. All 30 NATO states must give their approval before admitting a new member and thus benefit from the Collective Security Guarantee.

Edited By: Ashish Rajput