Finnish President Pledges “We’ll Commit To Turkey’s Security” In Biden Meeting
On Thursday Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson met Joe Biden at the White House, where the US President hailed the “momentous” NATO applications of the once-neutral countries.
“Today I’m proud to welcome and offer the strong support in the United States for the applications of two great democracies, and two close, highly capable partners to join the strongest, most powerful defensive alliance in the history of the world,” Biden said while standing alongside the two leaders in the Rose Garden.
“They meet every NATO requirement and then some,” Biden emphasized, adding “having two new NATO members in the high north will enhance the security of our alliance.”
The visit came as Turkey’s Erdogan is still pledging to resist their path to membership. “We have told our relevant friends we would say ‘no’ to Finland and Sweden’s entry into NATO, and we will continue on our path like this,” Erdogan stressed in fresh Thursday remarks.
President Niinisto used the occasion of the Biden meeting as an attempt at calming Turkey’s concerns. “Finland has always had proud and good bilateral relations with Turkey. As NATO allies, we will commit to Turkey’s security, just as Turkey will commit to our security,” Niinisto stressed.
“We take terrorism seriously. We condemn terrorism in all its forms and we are actively engaged in combating it. We are open to discussing all the concerns Turkey may have concerning our membership in an open and constructive manner,” he added, countering Turkey’s assertions.
Andersson, for her part, said that the Stockholm government is “right now having a dialogue with all NATO member countries, including Turkey, on different levels to sort out any issues at hand.”
President Biden had also in the press conference addressed Moscow’s anger over Finland, which shares a lengthy border with Russia. “New members joining NATO is not a threat to any nation,” Biden said. “It never has been.”
Meanwhile NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg chimed in from Copenhagen, saying, “We are addressing the concerns that Turkey has expressed.” He added: “Because when an ally, an important ally as Turkey, raises security concerns, raised these issues, then, of course, the only way to do that is to sit down and find ways to find a common ground and an agreement on how to move forward.”
Thus far Erdogan and top Turkish officials have said that Finnish and Swedish delegations shouldn’t even bother coming to Turkey if they remain unwilling to stop ‘supporting’ the PKK and others that Ankara sees as terrorists. At the same time, we wonder what Putin might be offering the Turkish leader to entice him to maintain his veto over the 30-member alliance, which needs consensus if it hopes to admit the new members.
Thu, 05/19/2022 – 15:40