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Erdogan Hints Might Approve Finland's NATO Bid

Erdogan Hints Might Approve Finland's NATO Bid

Monday, 30 January, 2023 - 06:15
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Reuters

Türkiye's president has suggested his country might approve Finland's application for NATO membership before taking any action on Sweden's.

Sweden and Finland applied jointly to become members of the military alliance, dropping their longstanding military nonalignment following Russia’s war on Ukraine.

In a prerecorded video of an event released Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicated that Türkiye might sign off on only Finland.

“If needed, we could give a different message about Finland. Sweden will be shocked when we give the different message about Finland.” Erdogan said to a group of young people in Bilecik province.

Türkiye has accused the government in Stockholm of being too lenient toward groups it deems as terror organizations or existential threats, including Kurdish groups. NATO requires unanimous approval of its existing members to add new ones, but Erdogan's government has said it would only agree to admit Sweden if the country met its conditions.

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