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Turkey: Finland must lift arms embargo

Ankara says Finland must lift its arms embargo on Turkey to secure support for its Nato bid.

Image: Benoit Doppagne / EPA
Yle News

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday said Finland should end its arms embargo on Turkey to secure Ankara's support for Nato membership, news agency Reuters reports.

Finnish Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen (Cen) is travelling to Turkey on Wednesday at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar.

The Defence Ministers will discuss Finland's Nato membership process and defence cooperation between the two countries, according to the Finnish government.

"It is important that Finland's defence minister is coming to Turkey," Reuters quoted Cavusoglu as saying. "Because there has not yet been a statement from Finland that they have lifted the arms embargo against us. We expect such a statement from them," he added.

Turkey has refused to endorse Finland's request until a number of demands are met, including taking a tougher stance against some Kurdish individuals and removing a ban on arms sales.

Ankara has accused the Nordic countries, mainly Sweden, of harbouring people it considers terrorists, including members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

On Monday, Finland began its domestic Nato ratification process—even though Finland's membership in the military alliance must still be ratified by Hungary and Turkey. Hungary is expected to do so in early February.

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