Thu, 30 Jun 2022

Helsinki [Finland], May 15 (ANI/Sputnik): Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said on Sunday that he was confused with Ankara's reaction to Helsinki's intention to apply for NATO membership since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan assured him of supporting Finland's accession to NATO in a telephone conversation about a month ago.

On Saturday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the majority of Turks oppose the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO over their open support for the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Kurdish YPG militia, which are deemed terrorist by Ankara. On Sunday, Cavusoglu said that he had had a meeting with his counterparts from Finland and Sweden, adding that Ankara provided all the facts "proving their cooperation with PKK." Cavusoglu noted that Helsinki and Stockholm expressed their willingness to discuss the issue with Ankara.

"To be frank, I am a bit confused because I had a telephone discussion with President Erdogan approximately a month ago and actually he took up himself before I had the possibility to do that, that you are applying for NATO membership and we will assess it favorable, it thanked him and he was very pleased receiving my thanks," Niinisto told a press conference announcing the country's official decision to apply for NATO membership.

The Finnish government said earlier in the day that Helsinki made the official decision to join NATO. The decision will be discussed in the parliament on Monday, and the voting is expected to be held on Tuesday. (ANI/Sputnik)

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