Sweden, Finland support to terrorist organizations threat to NATO: Akar
The fact that Sweden and Finland are providing political, financial and military support to terrorist organizations poses a threat to NATO as well, Türkiye’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said, expressing Ankara’s disturbance over the continued arms embargo by some allied countries.
“The fact that Sweden and Finland have turned into a terror hotbed, provide political and financial support and supply arms is a threat to NATO as well. Can it be acceptable that terrorists in Iraq and northern Syria escape to these countries after attacking our country? Would there be such an allied relationship? Would it fit with alliance spirit?” Akar asked at a meeting with reporters after the conclusion of NATO defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels late on June 16.
Akar attended two-day ministerial meetings at NATO headquarters, where he also had bilateral meetings with his colleagues from the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Greece and others. The ministers discussed the new military measures in the support of NATO’s eastern borders and the content of the upcoming NATO leaders’ summit in late June in Madrid, particularly Sweden and Finland’s bid to join the alliance.
Türkiye says it won’t approve the two Nordic states’ bid to join the alliance until they give written assurances on the fight against terrorism, namely the PKK and its Syrian offshoot, YPG.
“An understanding that ignores terrorists that attack an allied country, kill its security forces and slaughter innocent people does not comply with the friendship and alliance spirit,” Akar stressed.
The minister emphasized Türkiye’s active and constructive role within the center of the NATO’s security, stressing that they pledge importance to the expansion of NATO to the extent of the respect paid on Türkiye’s own sensitivities.
PKK possess Sweden-made weapons
The terrorists in Iraq and northern Syria are using Sweden-made AT-4 anti-tank weapons, and all the details about these weapons were provided to Türkiye’s counterparts in the meetings, Akar informed, saying, “We evaluate that it is very inconsistent for countries willing to join a security alliance after giving all sorts of support to the terror organizations.”
“NATO is a security organization, and one of its top issues is fighting terrorism,” Akar said, underlining that Türkiye’s fight against terror is also a contribution to the European defense.
Arms embargo among allies not understandable
Akar also recalled he highlighted the ongoing arms embargo against Türkiye by some allied countries, stressing that it was damaging the collective security notion of NATO and the alliance spirit of solidarity.
“On the one hand, one says ‘Let’s get stronger, let’s get united against all sorts of threat against NATO,’ and on the other hand, an arms embargo is being imposed on Türkiye. In addition, terrorist organizations are provided with limitless support,” he said.
Akar also asked how Sweden and Finland will contribute to Türkiye’s security if it is attacked by the terror organizations which they lend their support.
Sweden and Finland applied to join the NATO on May 18 with hopes that the process will be accomplished as soon as possible. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg hoped that a necessary green light could be given at NATO’s summit later this month.