The president of Turkey says that Sweden harbors and supports people he considers terrorists, but at the NATO summit in Madrid the government lifted its veto in exchange for certain conditions
The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was in Prague on Thursday in favor of his country ratifying Finland’s entry into NATO, but not Sweden’s.
“Our relations with Finland are better and different from those in Sweden,” Erdogan said at a press conference in the Czech capital, where he is participating in the first meeting of the European Political Community, a forum attended by 44 European leaders both from the European Union (EU) and from outside the community club.
“Finland is not a place where terrorists roam freely”added the Turkish president and assured that his government is willing to do “everything possible” to facilitate the aforementioned country’s entry into the Atlantic Alliance.
ankara had blocked the entry of Finland and Sweden into the Atlantic Alliance, arguing that they give shelter and support to people they consider terrorists, but at the NATO summit in Madrid at the end of June, the government lifted its veto in exchange for certain conditions, including the extradition of alleged “terrorists.”
Erdogan has warned that The Turkish Parliament will only ratify the entry of the two Nordic applicants after verifying that they meet these requirements.
Unlike the situation with Finland, Erdogan remains reluctant to accept Sweden.
“As long as terrorist organizations continue to march in Sweden, as long as they remain present in the Swedish Parliament, our position towards Sweden will not be positive, it will not change,” he said today.
Secondly, The Turkish president admitted that he experienced tensions with the Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, during dinner with the other leaders in Prague.
“Tonight I had a talk at dinner. I made my speech and the Greek Prime Minister was very upset. I’m not sure who gave him permission to speak and said that I had made a very harsh statement about them,” she revealed.
Nevertheless, Erdogan did not give details about the content of the speeches of either of them.
“They (the Greeks) always lie, his policy is based on lies. They want us to take steps and put several countries as mediators. Several countries wanted us to talk to them today (…) Right now there is no need to talk to Greece,” he declared.
The two neighboring nations, both NATO members, have a long history of tensions, exacerbated in recent years by mutual accusations of violations of airspace and territorial waters in the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean.
Erdogan reported that in Prague today he held several “very constructive” meetings with leaders from different countries, including the head of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, and valued the European Political Community as a “very timely” platform.
However, he pointed out that “it is not an alternative to the enlargement of the EU”. “We hope that this political platform will help our accession to the EU,” he stressed.