Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, during a telephone conversation on Thursday, with Ankara reiterating the need for the countries to stop their alleged support for terrorism, the Turkish Directorate of Communications said.
"President @RTErdogan stressed that Sweden and Finland's links with individuals and so-called organizations controlled by the PKK/YPG [the Kurdistan Workers' Party and Kurdish YPG militia] terrorist organization didn't comply with the spirit of alliance at NATO," the directorate wrote on Twitter.
Macron, in turn, urged the Turkish side to respect the sovereign choices of Finland and Sweden to join the alliance and expressed his hope that a solution to the Turkish veto on NATO's expansion would be found soon, according to the Elysee Palace.
On May 18, Finland and Sweden submitted their NATO membership applications to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Whether the two countries will be admitted to the alliance hinges on unanimous approval by NATO member countries.
On May 19, Erdogan said that Ankara had informed its NATO allies that it would say no to the membership of Stockholm and Helsinki, citing their involvement in supporting the Kurdistan movement, which Turkey regards as terrorist and deems as a serious threat to its national security. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed the need for a written undertaking from Finland and Sweden that they will stop supporting terrorism.