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Turkiye expects clear stance against terrorism from Finland, Sweden

Turkiye has always supported the idea of expanding NATO, but it has concerns with regard to Finland and Sweden's desire to join the alliance given their relations with terror groups, the Turkish foreign minister said on Sunday.

Mevlut Cavusoglu's statements came after an informal NATO gathering held in Germany's capital Berlin.

"Countries supporting terrorism should not be allies in NATO," Cavusoglu said, adding that he briefed participating officials on the support the two countries provided to the PKK terror group, especially the arms aid supplied by Sweden.

Both Finland and Sweden "must stop supporting terror groups," and give clear security guarantees in order to become NATO members, said Cavusoglu, who noted that the member countries should show solidarity with one another.

Turkiye has made it clear why it opposes Finnish and Swedish membership for the time being and has expressed its discomfort related to the two countries' talks with members of the PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the YPG, Cavusoglu said.

He added that though many members of the alliance welcome the idea of Finland and Sweden joining the alliance, they also agreed that the Turkish concerns should be resolved.

Restrictions on export permits by the would-be NATO members are "unacceptable," he added, asserting that such constraints are adopted against hostile countries.

The minister went on to say that Turkiye's demands that the countries lift restrictions on its defense industry and exports should be regarded as an indication of the spirit of alliance, rather than a bargaining chip, because Ankara has concerns about the two countries.

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