ADVERTISEMENT

Biden supports Sweden and Finland joining NATO as Turkey vows to obstruct the historic bids.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

 

On Thursday, President Joe Biden met with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö at the White House to discuss their historic NATO membership bids.



Despite Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's announcement on Thursday that his country will oppose Finland and Sweden joining the alliance, all three leaders called for the applications to be accepted as soon as possible.


In remarks in the Rose Garden, Biden stated, "The bottom line is simple, quite straightforward." "The NATO alliance is strengthened by Finland and Sweden."


As Russia's invasion of Ukraine approaches its fourth month, the two countries formally filed their bids on Wednesday. Finland and Sweden stated they decided to join the alliance after observing widespread popular support and support from their respective administrations.


The action was hailed by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who described the nations as the alliance's "closest partners."


At a press conference, Stoltenberg stated, "All allies agree on the significance of NATO enlargement." "We've all agreed that we need to work together. And we all believe that this is a historic opportunity that must be taken."


Erdogan's resistance might cause an issue because their proposal must be accepted by all 30 NATO member countries.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images


"We have told our relevant friends that we would say 'no' to Finland and Sweden joining NATO, and we will continue on this road," Erdogan stated in a video message released on Thursday.


Erdogan has been critical of both nations, claiming that they sponsor groups that Turkey considers radical, such as the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.


During their visits to the White House, both Sweden's prime minister and Finland's president addressed Turkey's dissatisfaction.


Niinistö stated, "Finland has traditionally enjoyed proud and good bilateral relations with Turkey." "We will commit to Turkey's security as NATO friends, just as Turkey will commit to ours. We take terrorism very seriously, condemn it in all of its manifestations, and are actively working to stop it. We are committed to open and constructive discussions on any concerns Turkey may have about our membership."


Andersson stated that Sweden is in talks with all NATO countries, including Turkey, to resolve any difficulties.


Despite Turkey's objections, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told ABC White House Correspondent MaryAlice Parks on Wednesday that the administration is "confident" that Finland and Sweden "will have an effective and efficient accession process" and that "Turkey's concerns can be addressed."


As their applications are being examined, Sullivan also cautioned that the US "would not allow any violence towards Finland or Sweden."


According to a joint statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt avuşolu met in New York on Wednesday to "reaffirm their strong collaboration as partners and NATO allies."


"They reviewed and assessed specific approaches to improve their collaboration on defense concerns, counterterrorism, energy and food security, combating climate change, and strengthening commercial connections, while agreeing to expand dialogue on a range of regional issues," according to the statement.

Tags

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT