Turkey says Nordic countries must change their laws to meet NATO demands

Turkey says Nordic countries must change their laws to meet NATO demands

Finland and Sweden must change their laws if necessary to meet Turkey’s demands and win its backing for its NATO bid, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Tuesday, redoubling his threat to veto a historical extension of the alliance.

Turkey opposed Finland and Sweden joining NATO on May 13, saying they harbor people linked to groups it considers terrorists, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and because they stopped arms exports to Turkey in 2019. The Nordic states applied to join NATO after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Any expansion plan must be approved by all 30 NATO members.

Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey, a NATO member for seven decades, will not lift its veto unless its demands are met, echoing President Tayyip Erdogan’s recent comments.

Ankara has said that Sweden and Finland must end their support for the PKK and other groups, ban them from organizing any events on their territory, extradite those wanted by Turkey on terrorism charges, support Ankara’s military and anti-terrorist operations, and lift all arms export restrictions.

Finland and Sweden have tried to broker a solution and other NATO capitals have said they remain confident that objections raised by Turkey — which has NATO’s second-largest army — can be overcome.

Melissa Galbraith
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