ANKARA, August 8. /TASS/. Turkey will not support the membership of Finland and Sweden in NATO until both countries fulfill their obligations to fight terrorist organizations, the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.
"We made our position clear at the NATO summit in Madrid. NATO membership of countries where members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK] freely roam the streets is detrimental to the values of the alliance. With respect to Finland and Sweden, we have a clear and strong position. Until they keep their word, Turkey will not approve the membership of the two countries in NATO," Erdogan said in Ankara, speaking at a meeting with Turkish ambassadors to foreign countries.
The foreign ministers of Turkey, Finland and Sweden signed a memorandum on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid on June 28 that removes barriers to the two countries joining the alliance. The document provides for cooperation with Ankara in the fight against terrorism, in particular with the PKK, its offshoots, as well as the Fethullahist terrorist organization (FETO), which the Turkish authorities accuse of being involved in the 2016 coup attempt.
Turkish authorities have previously stated that the memorandum signed with Finland and Sweden was not final and the Turkish parliament may have not approved it if Helsinki and Stockholm did not fulfill their obligations to counter terrorist organizations.