Erdogan says Swedish, Finnish delegations should not bother coming to Turkey

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Swedish and Finnish delegations should not bother coming to Ankara to convince it to approve their NATO bid.

Sweden’s government has formally decided to apply for NATO membership, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Monday, a day after Finnish President Sauli Niinisto confirmed that Oslo will also apply for membership.

Turkey surprised its NATO allies last week by saying it would not view their applications positively, mainly citing their history of hosting members of groups Ankara deems terrorists.

In a news conference on Monday, Erdogan repeated that Turkey would not approve their bids to join NATO, calling Sweden a “hatchery” for terrorist organisations, and adding it had terrorists in its parliament.

“Neither of these countries have a clear, open attitude towards terrorist organisation,” Erdogan said. “How can we trust them?”

The Swedish foreign office said earlier on Monday that senior representatives of Sweden and Finland plan to travel to Turkey for talks to address Ankara’s objections.

“They are coming to Turkey on Monday. Are they coming to convince us? Excuse me but they should not tire themselves,” Erdogan said about the planned visit.

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

via Reuters

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