Helsinki (The Times Groupe)- Finland’s foreign minister Pekka Haavisto said on Sunday that the PKK terror group’s connections in the country will be monitored closely.
“We can provide such guarantees to Turkey. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization in Europe, so we should do our part to prevent any preparations for terrorism on Finnish soil,” he told public broadcaster Yle.
In over 35 years of terror against Turkey, the PKK – considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU – has killed over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.
Helsinki and Ankara could resolve issues related to Finland’s NATO application within a few weeks, Haavisto said.
“I said a few days ago that this would take days, but now one could say that it will take weeks. While I’m optimistic that the problems will be resolved, it may take some time,” he said.
Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistoin by phone on Saturday.
Ignoring terrorist organizations that pose a threat to a NATO ally is incompatible with the “spirit of friendship and alliance.”
Erdogan said Turkey has the “most natural right” to expect respect and support for its legitimate and determined fight against what remains a clear threat to its national security and people.
In response to Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine, which began in February, Sweden and Finland have applied to join NATO.
Turkey, a longstanding member of the alliance, has voiced its opposition to the membership bids, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.