Istanbul: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkiye on Monday renewed his threat of freezing the NATO (Non Alliance Treaty Organization) membership bids of Sweden and Finland unless the former complies with the conditions put forth by Ankara.
Finland and Sweden applied for the membership of the defense alliance as a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine but were met with opposition from Turkey
Last month at the NATO summit held in Madrid, Erodogan accused the two states of providing safe haven to Kurdish militants, and pushed them to “do their part” in fighting terrorism. The three countries signed an accord at the NATO summit for lifting Ankara’s veto in exchange for pledges on counter terrorism and exportation of arms.
Speaking at the three way summit with Russia and Iran, Erdogan told the reporters: “I want to reiterate once again that we will freeze the process if these countries do not take the necessary steps to fulfil our conditions’.
In Washington, Ned Price, State Department spokesperson did not respond when asked about Erdogan’s remarks but referred to Turkey’s green light during the Madrid NATO summit that took place in June, 2022.
“Turkey, Finland, Sweden — they signed a trilateral memorandum in Madrid to set this process in motion,” Price told reporters.
“The United States will continue to work with those three countries to see to it that this accession process and ratification — here and around the world — is as swift and efficient as it can possibly be,” he said.