Turkey’s Erdogan tells allies it will say ‘no’ to Finland and Sweden’s NATO bids

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that Turkey will reject Finland and Sweden’s NATO bids, delivering a potential blow to the two countries’ applications for membership one day after they were submitted, as all 30 NATO members must unanimously approve new countries.

Erdogan said in a video posted to his Twitter account Turkey has “told allies that we will say no” to Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership, Reuters quoted him as saying.

Erdogan added “we will continue on our path like this,” as he spoke to a group of Turkish youth in the video.

Finland and Sweden submitted their official applications to join NATO on Wednesday, and Turkey blocked a fast-track effort to begin talks on their bids hours later.

Turkey’s opposition, which came as a surprise to some allies, began on Friday when Erdogan announced Turkey was not favorable to Finland and Sweden joining due to their support of Kurdish groups, which Turkey considers to be terrorist organizations.

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