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Estonia Reiterates Support for Sweden’s NATO Bid

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Estonia’s president on Wednesday reiterated his country’s support for Sweden’s efforts to join NATO with the Nordic country’s application previously in jeopardy before Turkey dropped its opposition to the bid. 

“Of course we do support, because it is our position to support Sweden and we already supported Finland,” Estonian President Alar Karis told Rudaw’s Diyar Kurda on the sidelines of the 78th annual UN General Assembly in New York City. 

“Let’s hope that Sweden is going to be a part of NATO,” be added. 

Sweden and Finland last year reversed their decades-long tradition of military non-alignment and applied to join NATO following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Unanimous approval is required by alliance members and Turkey has used this as leverage to pressure the Nordic countries to counter Kurdish groups it considers “terrorists” in exchange for Ankara’s yes on the accession. Finland’s application was ratified in April.

Following a phone call with US President Joe Biden in July, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to accept Sweden’s ascension into the defense alliance, saying he would forward the matter to Turkey’s parliament for ratification as part of an agreement with Sweden’s prime minister. 

Erdogan has accused Sweden of harboring and supporting groups including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), considered terrorists by Ankara.

The PKK is a Kurdish group that has fought for Kurdish rights and waged an armed insurgency against Ankara for decades. The Turkey-PKK conflict has killed tens of thousands and spans across the Kurdistan Region and Syria as well. 

The high-level week of the 78th annual UNGA commenced on Tuesday and will continue through next week. Hundreds of world leaders and delegates have gathered in New York to attend the event, with around 150 heads of states and governments set to deliver speeches.

The theme of this year’s summit is “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all.”

Source : Rudaw

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