Ankara, May 16 : Sweden and Finland proposed to work with Turkey on the “security guarantees” that Ankara has demanded over their plans to join NATO, said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Turkey has been supporting the open-door policy of NATO, but Finland and Sweden’s membership bid raises security concerns for Ankara, Cavusoglu told Turkish reporters in Berlin on Sunday after a NATO meeting.
Countries that “come in contact with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) must abandon their stance,” state-run TRT broadcaster quoted the Minister as saying.
These countries also impose export restrictions on Turkey in the defence industry, he said, adding that export bans should be lifted if they seek membership in NATO, Xinhua news agency reported.
Cavusoglu had a tripartite meeting with his Swedish counterpart Ann Linde and Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto in Berlin on Saturday on the sidelines of the NATO meeting.
Finland and Sweden came up with a proposal at the meeting to conduct a joint work for addressing Turkey’s objections, he said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Turkey does not have a favourable opinion on the idea of Finland and Sweden joining the alliance.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the EU, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for more than three decades.
As a NATO member, Turkey can veto a country’s admission to the military alliance.
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