Turkey's Erdogan links Sweden, Finland NATO bid to return of 'terrorists'

Turkey

© APA | Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan

# 19 May 2022 01:43 (UTC +04:00)

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday Sweden should not expect Turkey to approve its NATO bid without returning "terrorists", and Swedish and Finnish delegations should not come to Turkey to convince it to back their membership in the alliance, APA reports citing Reuters.

U.S. President Joe Biden and top officials from his administration repeated that they are confident Ankara's objection will not be a roadblock for the accession process of the Nordic countries, even though they did not spell out how Turkey's position could be changed.

Finland and Sweden formally applied on Wednesday to join U.S.-led NATO, a decision spurred by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with the accession process expected to take only a few weeks despite Turkey's objections.

Ankara says Sweden and Finland harbour people linked to groups it deems terrorists, namely the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group and followers of Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey accuses of orchestrating a coup attempt in 2016.

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