Biden administration said Washington is working with Ankara over the expansion of NATO and noted that there is “broad support” from other members to include Finland and Sweden in the alliance.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds her last press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 13, 2022.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds her last press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 13, 2022. (Reuters)

The US is collaborating with Türkiye on Finland and Sweden's potential membership in NATO, the White House has said after Ankara voiced objections.

Spokeswoman Jen Psaki deferred to the Turkish government on an explanation of their views, but said US President Joe Biden's administration is "continuing to work with Turkey" on the nations' membership in the transatlantic alliance.

"There's no question, and you've seen this from the public statements of a number of NATO leaders, that there is broad support from NATO member countries in Finland and Sweden's stated interest in applying to join NATO," she said.

Earlier on Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara's position on Swedish and Finnish membership in NATO is "not positive."

"We are currently following developments. We currently do not have a positive position on the issue of Sweden and Finland (joining NATO)," he said in Istanbul. "There are supporters of terrorism in parliament. We cannot be positive towards this."

READ MORE: Erdogan: Türkiye does not favour Finland, Sweden joining NATO for now

Türkiye: Sweden home to many YPG/PKK members

In July 2020, Türkiye slammed a video meeting between Sweden’s foreign minister and members of the terrorist group YPG/PKK, the Syrian branch of the PKK. 

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said the incident “raises serious question marks about Sweden's approach to combating terrorism as a matter of priority."

Separately Pentagon also noted that the US is in contact with Türkiye over the possible membership.

"Nothing changes about their standing in the NATO alliance... we're working to better clarify (their) position," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

Under NATO rules, any decision on enlargement must be made “by unanimous agreement,” effectively giving any member, including Türkiye, veto power over prospective members.

READ MORE: Russia warns of consequences after Finland announces NATO bid

Source: TRTWorld and agencies