U.S. says Turkey's approach to Sweden, Finland NATO bid not a bilateral topic
Turkey's approach to the NATO accession process of Sweden and Finland is not a bilateral issue between Washington and Ankara, the U.S. State Department said on Friday, but added that Washington was speaking with Ankara and it remained confident that the dispute would be overcome.
Finland and Sweden say they have been spurred into joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization by Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, reversing generations of military non-alignment to bring about the biggest shakeup in European security in decades.
Turkey surprised NATO allies last week by objecting to the move, pressing Sweden to halt support for Kurdish militants it considers part of a terrorist group. It pressed both Sweden and Finland to lift their bans on some arms sales to Turkey.
While the problem officially is between Sweden, Finland and Turkey, many analysts have said Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan may be aiming to use this moment to push Washington to act on some of the long-standing issues that have weighed on bilateral ties between the two NATO allies.