US says Turkey’s approach to Sweden’s and Finland’s NATO bid is not a bilateral matter

Finland and Sweden say they were pushed to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization by Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, reversing generations of military non-alignment to cause the greatest upheaval of European security for decades.

Turkey surprised its NATO allies last week by opposing the move, urging Sweden to stop supporting Kurdish militants it considers part of a terrorist group. She urged Sweden and Finland to lift their bans on certain arms sales to Turkey.

Although the issue is officially between Sweden, Finland and Turkey, many analysts have said Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan may seek to use this moment to push Washington to act on some of the longstanding issues that have weighed on ties. bilateral relations between the two NATO allies.

These issues include the end of US support for the Kurdish militia in Syria that Ankara considers terrorists, the lifting of US sanctions imposed after Ankara’s purchase of the Russian S-400 defense system as well as the potential acceleration of demand for purchase of F-16s by Ankara.

“The issue of Turkey’s approach to Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership is not a bilateral issue between the United States and Turkey,” the doorstep said. – State Department spokesman, Ned Price, during a conference call.

His comments are similar to those of US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who told reporters on Thursday that “this is not an American issue”, but added that Washington wanted to see it resolved and was ready to take action. measures to support it.

Western leaders said they were confident that Ankara’s objections would not be an obstacle to the Nordic countries’ NATO accession process, without specifying how Turkey’s position could be changed.

“On their side, Finland and Sweden are working directly with Turkey, but we are also discussing this issue with Turkey,” Mr. Price said, without giving further details on these discussions, apart from the fact that the secretary of the ‘tat Antony Blinken and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu had a “good and constructive” conversation on Wednesday in New York.

“We remain convinced that Turkey’s concerns will be taken into account and that we will be able to reach consensus as an alliance on the accession process for Finland and Sweden,” Mr Price added.

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