Erdogan claims Turkey’s fears on Finland, Sweden´s NATO bids valid

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Erdogan claims Turkey's fears on Finland, Sweden´s NATO bids valid

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that Turkey's security concerns on Finland and Sweden's intention to join the alliance were based on "just and legitimate" grounds, reported Xinhua, quoting a statement of the Turkish presidency.

"Both countries should clearly display that they have given up supporting terrorism, that they have lifted sanctions against Turkey, and that they are ready to show alliance solidarity," Erdogan told the NATO chief in a phone call.

Stoltenberg stressed the "necessity to meet the expectations of Turkey, an important ally."

NATO allies, except for Turkey, have welcomed the Nordics' appeal. Ankara, however, citing the Swedish and Finnish ties with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and other anti-Turkey outlawed groups, objected to their entry into the alliance.

Turkey demanded an array of "concrete assurances" from Sweden and Finland, which included "termination of political support for terrorism," "elimination of the source of terrorism financing" and "cessation of arms support" to the PKK and its Syrian Kurdish offshoot.

The demands also include the lifting of the two countries' arms sanctions against Turkey.

Earlier, on May 29, Erdogan reiterates to oppose Finland´s NATO membership

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