Turkey warns it can ‘freeze’ Sweden, Finland’s NATO process

ANKARA, 19 July 2022, (TON): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said “Turkey can still freeze Sweden and Finland’s membership in NATO unless the two countries take steps that meet Ankara’s security demands.”

Last month, Turkey lifted its objection to Sweden and Finland joining the alliance but warned that it would block the process if they fail to extradite suspects with links to outlawed Kurdish groups or the network of an exiled cleric accused of orchestrating a failed coup in 2016.

The Nordic countries’ accession still needs to be approved by the parliaments of all 30 NATO members and Turkey’s parliament could refuse to ratify the deal.

“I would like to remind once again that if these countries do not take the necessary steps to fulfill our conditions, we will freeze the (accession) process,” Erdogan said in a televised addressed following a Cabinet meeting. “Our stance on this issue is very clear. The rest is up to them.”

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