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Turkey blocked a preliminary step to allow Finland and Sweden to join NATO on Wednesday, several international newspapers including the Financial Times And the New York Times citing internal sources with knowledge of the facts. On Wednesday, ambassadors to NATO from all member countries met with the intention of voting to officially begin negotiations for the entry of Finland and Sweden. But the Turkish ambassador prevented the vote from taking place, effectively blocking the first phase for the process of joining the alliance.
To allow the entry of a new country into NATO (and more generally also to approve preliminary steps such as the one just blocked by Turkey) the unanimous consent of all 30 member countries is required.
But Turkey has been opposing the entry of the two Scandinavian countries into the Atlantic Alliance for days, mainly for two reasons: the first, and most important, concerns the fact that Sweden has provided shelter to various members of the Kurdish organization PKK. that Turkey, the United States and the European Union (therefore also Sweden) consider terrorist, although this definition is controversial and contested. Added to this is the fact that, starting from 2016, Sweden has welcomed various exponents of the political organization of Fethullah Gülen, which Erdogan considers responsible for the coup d’état project against him.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking Wednesday during a speech in parliament, said Sweden and Finland refused to extradite 30 people accused of terrorism to Turkey. “We asked for 30 terrorists. They said: “We don’t give them to you.” They don’t want to hand over the terrorists, but they want to join NATO ».
Such as he wrote the German newspaper DW, the fact that the vote of the ambassadors has been blocked is a clear signal that the negotiations between Turkey, Finland and Sweden will have to be done at a higher level, that is, between heads of state and government, or at least between the competent ministers. Only after having found an agreement between the governments will it be possible to hold the vote scheduled for today, and begin the process of joining the two countries.