Ankara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will convene the National Security Council on May 26 to discuss the applications of Finland and Sweden to join NATO, Turkish media reported on Wednesday.
In addition to the applications of Sweden and Finland to join NATO, the council will discuss the progress of Operation Claw-Lock in northern Iraq and the alleged accumulation of military assets by neighboring Greece, the Anadolu news agency said.
The Turkish security council’s third meeting since the start of 2022 will also discuss Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, with an emphasis on Turkey’s mediation efforts and developments in the Black Sea, the report said.
Regarding the situation in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean seas, the council will consider in detail the protection of the interests and rights of Turkey and the unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The council will also discuss steps to establish a security zone along the southern borders of Turkey, including by means of counterterrorist operations, the report said.
On May 18, Sweden and Finland submitted their applications for NATO membership to the alliance’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg. Turkey reportedly blocked the start of consideration of their applications and Erdogan has repeatedly said that he cannot “assess positively” the membership of the Nordic states in NATO due to their support for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and Kurdish YPG militia, which are designated as terrorist organizations by Ankara.