Ignoring terrorist organizations that pose a threat to a NATO ally is not compatible with the “spirit of friendship and alliance,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto in a phone call on Saturday.
Bilateral relations and Finland’s bid to join NATO were the main focus of discussions, Turkiye’s Communications Directorate said in a statement.
Erdogan said it is Turkiye’s “most natural right” to expect respect and support for its legitimate and determined struggle against what remains a clear threat to its national security and people, according to the statement.
"An open and direct phone call with [email protected]," Niinisto said on Twitter. "I stated that as NATO Allies Finland and Turkey will commit to each other’s security and our relationship will thus grow stronger. Finland condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Close dialogue continues."
Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO on Wednesday – a decision spurred by Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine.
However, Turkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, has voiced objections to the membership bids, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.