Turkey’s president has restated his opposition to Finland and Sweden joining Nato – just hours after they said they would seek membership.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the two Nordic nations should not bother sending delegations to convince Turkey, a key Nato member, of their bids.
He is angered by what he sees as their willingness to host Kurdish militants.
Without the support of all Nato members, Sweden and Finland cannot join the military alliance.
On Monday, Sweden said Europe was living in a dangerous new reality, referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the move by Finland and Sweden to join the 30-member military alliance did not threaten Moscow directly – but stressed that any expansion of military infrastructure would trigger a response from the Kremlin.
At a news conference on Monday, Mr Erdogan said Turkey opposed the Finnish and the Swedish bids to join Nato, describing Sweden as a “hatchery” for terrorist organisations.
“Neither of these countries have a clear, open attitude towards terrorist organisation. How can we trust them?” the Turkish president said.
Turkey accuses the two Nordic nations of harbouring members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group it views as a terrorist organisation, and followers of Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara accuses of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt.
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