Foreign Minister Haavisto suggests that Finland can join NATO without Sweden

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Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto appeared to suggest on Tuesday that his country may have to join the NATO without Sweden after the president of Turkey questioned the expansion of the military alliance.

We still have to assess the situation if it turns out that Sweden’s application is stalled for a long time”, said the head of Finnish diplomacy Haavisto to YLE public television.

LOOK: NATO chief urges Turkey not to blockade Sweden after Koran burned in protest

His remarks come a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Sweden not to expect support for his NATO bid after protests by an anti-Islam activist and pro-Kurdish groups over the weekend in Stockholm. .

The historic request for Sweden Y Finland to join the alliance it needs the approval of all members of the group, including Turkey, which has so far blocked the expansion, saying that Sweden, in particular, must crack down on Kurdish insurgents in exile there and their supporters.

Until now, Sweden Y Finland they had promised to enter the alliance together, but the words of Haavisto they seemed to suggest that his country might be considering going ahead without its Nordic neighbor.

We are in contact with Finland to find out what it really means.”Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström said in a statement to The Associated Press. “Sweden respects the agreement between Sweden, Finland and Turkey about our NATO membership. We have done it so far and we will continue to do so.

In a memorandum of understanding signed by the three nations at an alliance summit last year, Stockholm and Helsinki pledged not to support Kurdish insurgents and to lift arms embargoes they placed against Ankara after their incursion into northern Syria. in 2019.

The pro-Kurdish and anti-Turkish mobilizations in the Swedish capital have complicated the process. On Saturday, a Danish far-right activist protested outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, where he burned a Koran, Islam’s holy book. Another pro-Kurdish rally was held later in the day.

The Swedish government has tried to distance itself from such acts while insisting that they fall under the country’s freedom of expression.

Turkey responded angrily to the protests, canceling the Swedish Defense Minister’s planned visit to Ankara. In addition, there were protests outside the Swedish diplomatic missions both in the Turkish capital and in Istanbul.

Source: Elcomercio

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