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Finland, Sweden promise to join NATO together in united front to Turkey

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The prime ministers of Finland and Sweden said on Friday that their countries will join NATO simultaneously, presenting a united front to Turkey, which has raised questions about their applications, Reuters reported.

The Nordic neighbors applied to join the alliance in May in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but ran into objections from Turkey, which accused the two countries of harboring groups it considers terrorists.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said Friday that the Turkish president told her he had more questions for Sweden than for her country. But she said she would not abandon Sweden in the process.

“It is very important for us, of course, that Finland and Sweden would join NATO hand in hand,” Marin told reporters at a joint press conference with her Swedish counterpart in Helsinki.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan said as recently as Oct. 6 that his country remains opposed to the Swedish bid.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, who took office last week, said, “We have been taking every step, so far, hand in hand and none of us have any other ambition.”

He said he would meet Erdoğan soon. “It’s completely legitimate that Turkey get confirmation that Sweden is doing what Sweden has committed to do within the framework of the agreement,” he added.

Swedish daily Aftonbladet on Friday cited sources saying that Turkey had invited Kristersson to a bilateral meeting in Ankara, probably on Nov. 8.

Kristersson’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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