ANKARA, Turkey — Delegations from Sweden and Finland held talks on Wednesday in Ankara with senior Turkish officials in an effort to overcome Turkey’s objections to their historic bids to join the Nato alliance.
Sweden and Finland submitted their written applications to join Nato last week in a move that marks one of the biggest geopolitical ramifications of Russia’s war in Ukraine — and which could rewrite Europe’s security map.
Turkey has said it opposes the two Nordic countries’ membership in the military alliance, citing grievances with Sweden’s — and to a lesser extent Finland’s — perceived support to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and other entities that Turkey views as a security threat. It also accuses the two of imposing arms exports restrictions on Turkey and refusing to extradite suspected “terrorists.”
The PKK, which is listed as a terror organization by several of Turkey’s allies, has waged a decades-long insurgency against Turkey, a conflict that has cost the lives of tens of thousands of people.
Turkey’s objections have dampened Stockholm’s and Helsinki’s hopes for their quick membership in Nato amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and puts the trans-Atlantic alliance’s credibility at stake. All 30 Nato members must agree to admit new members. (AP)