The United States of America is confident that it will be able to settle with Turkey the issue of Finland and Sweden joining the North Atlantic Alliance. This statement was made on June 15 by US Permanent Representative to NATO Julianne Smith.
“We are confident that we will achieve this, the alliance has 73 years of experience in resolving such differences,” the Spanish Broadcasting and Television Corporation quotes the permanent representative.
She also said that representatives of Sweden and Finland might come to the summit and participate in its work as guests or associated countries.
In addition, Smith announced the development of a new concept at the meeting of the members of the alliance, which will discuss new challenges and threats – cybersecurity, new technologies, space. As the representative of the United States emphasized, China will be mentioned in it for the first time.
Earlier in the day, John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator at the White House National Security Council, was optimistic about the prospects for Sweden and Finland joining NATO. According to him, the US hopes for a successful resolution of the contradictions between Ankara, Stockholm and Helsinki.
Thus, American civil servants commented on the rhetoric of Turkey, in particular, a message from the office of Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, published on June 13. In it, the Turkish leader said that he would take a tough stance at the upcoming NATO summit in Madrid on the entry of the Scandinavian countries into the alliance and would not compromise with countries that, according to Turkey, support terrorism. Ankara formulated its position on June 8, presenting 10 conditions for lifting the veto on NATO membership of Sweden and Finland. Thus, one of the points was a proposal to support Turkey in its fight against terrorist organizations, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, organizations of the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen and their branches.
In addition, on June 12, Erdogan criticized the policies of Western countries and said that they cannot be trusted in matters of politics because of deceit. At the same time, he allowed cooperation with them in matters of culture and science.
On June 11, it was reported that the Finnish authorities did not want to extradite to Turkey members of the Hizmet movement of the preacher Fethullah Gülen, which Ankara considers terrorist, in order to join NATO.
Applications for joining the North Atlantic Alliance by Finland and Sweden were submitted on 18 May. The Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn, reacted critically to this, noting that in this way the security of these countries would not be ensured.