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“They Have Expectations, But…”: Turkey’s Erdogan On Sweden’s NATO Bid

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'They Have Expectations, But...': Turkey's Erdogan On Sweden's NATO Bid

Turkey and fellow NATO member Hungary approved Finland’s NATO membership this year

Istanbul:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday rebuffed growing international pressure on Ankara to accept Sweden’s NATO membership bid before the Western defence alliance led by US, meets in July. “Sweden has expectations. It doesn’t mean that we will comply with them,” President Erdogan said in remarks released by his office. “In order for us to meet these expectations, first of all, Sweden must do its part.”

Sweden and it’s Nordic neighbour Finland have ended decades of military non-alignment and applied to join the US-led defence bloc, NATO in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Turkey and fellow NATO member Hungary approved Finland’s NATO membership this year. But both countries’ parliaments have yet to approve Sweden’s entry, a delay that has caused growing alarm in the West. US President Joe Biden pressed the Turkish President Erdogan about Sweden during a call he placed after the Turkish leader secured his re-election last month. While the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg discussed the bid with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul earlier this month.

The Turkish President noted that NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg’s visit coincided with a protest held in Stockholm by Kurdish supporters of a group which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Ankara.

Turkey is pushing Sweden to ban and crack down on such rallies.

“There are rights given to (Sweden’s) law enforcement under the constitution. Use those rights. If you don’t deal with it, we cannot (say yes) at the summit in Vilnius,” President Erdogan said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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