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Turkey will not approve Sweden's offer to NATO, Erdogan: Delegations should not come to convince us

Turkey will not approve Sweden's offer to NATO, Erdogan: Delegations should

"Turkey will not approve Sweden's application for NATO membership - and the Swedish and Finnish delegations should not worry about coming to Ankara to persuade it to support their proposals," said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

This comes after the two Nordic countries formally applied this morning to join the military alliance. Turkey has accused Sweden and Finland of harboring people it says are linked to groups it considers terrorist, namely the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group and followers of Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt.

In a speech to lawmakers from his AK Party in parliament, he said Sweden should not wait for Turkey to approve its NATO bid without returning "terrorists".

"NATO enlargement is meaningful to us only in proportion to the respect that will be shown for our sensitivities, " he said. Turkish state broadcaster TRT Haber reported earlier this week that Sweden and Finland had not given their consent to the repatriation of 33 people Turkey had requested.

NATO and the US have said they are convinced that Turkey will not suspend the membership of Finland and Sweden.

 

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