Sun, 02 Oct 2022

ISTANBUL, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey's concerns over Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO were not responded to with any substantial steps.

Erdogan told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a phone call that Finland and Sweden had to take sincere and tangible steps over the harboring of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Syria's Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) within their borders, the Turkish presidential office said in a statement.

The Turkish leader pointed out that the military and industrial sanctions on Turkey should be lifted and not be put back into effect after the accession.

In a separate call, Erdogan told Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson that there was no change of attitude by Sweden regarding PKK and YPG and the Nordic country had yet to take solid steps aimed at quelling Turkey's concerns.

According to the statement, Erdogan also reiterated Turkey's expectations of lifting all sanctions on the Turkish defense and weapons industries.

Ambitions by Finland and Sweden to join NATO were blocked by Turkey, which accused the two countries of hosting outlawed separatists and putting sanctions against their would-be ally.

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