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Turkey may oppose Finland and Sweden joining Nato, Erdogan says

Any potential application by Finland or Sweden to join the alliance must be ratified by all 30 member states.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Image: AOP

Turkey would not be in favour of Finland or Sweden joining the Nato alliance, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday, citing concerns over the presence of "terrorists" in both countries.

"We are following the developments regarding Sweden and Finland, but we don't hold positive views," Erdogan said, adding that "Scandinavian countries are guesthouses for terrorist organisations."

The Turkish president has previously stated that supporters of separatist Kurdish militants fighting in Turkey’s southeastern region are allowed to roam freely in some parts of Europe.

"They are even members of parliament in some countries. It is not possible for us to be in favour," he said.

Erdogan's comments come after Finland's President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) issued a joint statement on Thursday saying that they support Finland applying to join Nato, with an official decision expected in the coming days.

An application to join by either Finland or Sweden would need to be ratified by all 30 member states. Turkey has been a member of Nato since 1952.

News agency Reuters reported (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Friday that accepting Greece into the alliance was a mistake.

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