Conflicts & War

Turkey reiterates Nato veto over Sweden, Finland’s Kurdish ties

Ankara, May 27 (EFE).- Turkey on Friday said Sweden and Finland’s Nato bid would depend on the Nordic nations demonstrating “concrete steps” in ending their support of Kurdish groups that Ankara considers terrorist organizations.

Turkey, Nato’s second largest army after the United States, has threatened to block Sweden and Finland’s accession to the Alliance over their support of Kurdish formations such as the Syria-based YPG and its political arm the PYD.

In Ankara’s eyes, the YPG, which led the ground campaign in the US-backed war against the Islamic State in northern Syria, is indistinguishable from the PKK, an organization engaged in a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state and which is classified by Turkey, the European Union and the US as a terrorist organization.

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Çavusoglu told reporters Friday that Ankara was “waiting for a response” from the two nations, who he said must end their “support of terrorism.”

He was joined at the press conference by his Romanian and Polish counterparts Bogdan Aurescu and Zbigniew Rau.

The minister added that Sweden and Finland should lift an embargo on arms sale to Turkey, which were enforced following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s military incursions into northern Syria, where the Turkish military and Syrian rebel allies fought the YPG.

Ergodan recently announced new plans to create a 30-kilometer buffer zone along Syria’s northern border with Turkey, raising fears of fresh conflict in Kurdish-controled areas of Syria. EFE


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