Washington and London are allegedly leading a lobbying campaign to pressure Sweden and Finland into accepting demands made by Turkey, which is blocking NATO membership for the two countries.
The claim was made by Turkish MPs who visited a NATO event in Lithuania last week, as reported by Turkish media on Thursday.
According to a report in the newspaper Hurriyet, delegations from the US and UK told their counterparts from Sweden and Finland to accommodate Ankara’s wishes. The alleged exchanges took place during the four-day meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO allies hosted by Lithuania, starting May 27.
Turkish MPs who took part in the event in Vilnius told the newspaper that delegates from other European member states called the Turkish demands justified. They claimed the same attitude prevails among the leadership of the bloc.
Turkey threatened to block the requests of Sweden and Finland to accept them as members of NATO, citing a number of grievances. Ankara accused the two countries of harboring Kurdish “terrorists” and compromising Turkey’s security by banning arms exports to the country. The terrorists the Turkish officials were referring to are suspected members of the PKK – a Kurdish militant group that has fought against the Turkish government for decades – and Kurdish militias based in Syria and Iraq.