Turkey can evaluate NATO applications from Finland, Sweden separately: FM
Ankara: Turkey could evaluate Finland’s NATO bid separately from Sweden’s attempt to distinguish “between a problematic country and a less problematic one,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
“If NATO and these countries make such a decision, we believe, like Turkey, that we can evaluate the applications separately. But first of all, NATO and these countries must decide,” Cavusoglu added at a joint press conference with his Portuguese counterpart Joao Gomes Cravinho on the Monday.
He stressed that the alliance and these countries initially requested that the membership process for the two countries be carried out together, Xinhua news agency reported.
Since then, Finland has taken some steps, but there were “provocations” in Sweden, he said.
– We have said that we have fewer problems with Finland since the two countries’ application process started. It would be fair to distinguish between a problematic country and a less problematic one,” the minister added.
On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey may show a different attitude to Finland’s NATO bid than Sweden.
“We can react differently to Finland if necessary. Sweden would be shocked when we react differently to Finland. But Finland should not make the same mistake,” Erdogan added.
Turkey submitted a list of 120 “terrorists” to Sweden for extradition, he said, adding that the Nordic country must extradite these people to join NATO.
Turkey has postponed a trilateral meeting with Sweden and Finland on their NATO bid that was due to take place in February after the burning of a copy of the Koran in Sweden.