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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Finland may consider sole NATO membership bid as Turkey presses Sweden: Minister

World NewsFinland may consider sole NATO membership bid as Turkey presses Sweden: Minister

Bloomberg | | Posted by Ritu Maria Jani.

Finland According to Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Hausto, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s fresh objections to Sweden may require thinking about a joint move with Sweden towards NATO membership.

Hausto said in an interview with YLE Tuesday that given the security concerns of both Finland and Sweden, the “primary option” for both countries to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization at the same time remains.

“We must now assess the situation and see if something has happened, which could prevent Sweden’s access to the alliance in the long term,” Hausto said. Still, it is too early to make a decision, he said.

It is the first time a Finnish policymaker has hinted at splitting the bids since the Nordic countries applied to join NATO in May. Turkey has objected to their entry, but allowed the process to go ahead at a NATO summit in June. The latter said he was “pleased” with Finland’s cooperation while continuing to press Sweden to crack down more forcefully on groups outlawed in Turkey.

On Monday, Erdogan refused to back Sweden’s request after a far-right activist set fire to Islam’s holy book in Stockholm over the weekend. Turkey and Hungary are the only two of NATO’s 30 members that have not yet ratified the applications. US officials reiterated their support for the Nordic bids on Monday.

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