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Ankara wants 'results' not 'verbiage' from Sweden, Finland on terror groups

  • 28 Jun 2022

Sweden and Finland have to take into account Türkiye's security concerns, Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says ahead of NATO summit.

Erdogan said a meeting with US President Biden on sidelines of the NATO summit was possible. ( AA )

Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Ankara is expecting to see action instead of empty words from Sweden and Finland on terror groups.

Erdogan was speaking on Tuesday before his flight to Madrid for a NATO summit that will start with his meeting with the leaders of the two Nordic countries and the Western defence bloc.

"If Sweden and Finland are to become members of NATO, they have to take into account the security concerns of Türkiye, a member of the alliance for 70 years," said Erdogan.

"We will hold a quadripartite meeting (on Sweden and Finland's membership bids) and see what point they have reached. We do not want verbiage, but results," he added.

Erdogan added that Türkiye expects "from our allies not to discriminate between NATO members, and that threat against one should be interpreted as a threat against all."

The Turkish president also mentioned the prospect of a meeting with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the NATO summit for talks focused on Russia's offensive in Ukraine.

READ MORE: Türkiye’s concerns 'all legitimate and must be addressed': NATO chief

PKK and FETO terror groups

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO on May 18, a decision spurred by Russian attacks on Ukraine, which began on February 24.

Their accession requires the unanimous approval of all 30 NATO member countries.

But Türkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, has voiced objections to their membership bids, criticising the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups such as the PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by Türkiye, the US, EU and NATO – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 in Türkiye, in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 injured.

FETO is behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

READ MORE: Erdogan: Stockholm needs to change attitude on PKK/YPG terror group

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