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Turkey against Finland and Sweden in NATO? "Collective strategic interest will eventually prevail"

João Gomes Cravinho

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, João Gomes Cravinho, was confident this Friday that the “strategic interest of NATO as a collective” will end up imposing itself on Turkey’s opposition in the process of joining Finland and Sweden to the BORN.

In Helsinki, where he met with his Finnish counterpart, Pekka Haavisto, asked by RTP3 and CNN Portugal about the position defended by Turkish President Erdogan – unfavorable to the entry of Finland and Sweden for welcoming Kurdish militants that Turkey considers to be terrorists – the chief of Portuguese diplomacy said he believed that the “strategic interest of NATO as a collective will eventually prevail”, especially because, after a week of talks on the process, “no difficulties were ever encountered”.

“My expectation is that there are no major problems that cannot be solved”, explained the Portuguese minister, who stressed that “the process of entry of new members into NATO is up to the 30 states that sovereignly make their decisions”.

Minister expects “overwhelming support” for the process in the Portuguese parliament

The process of ratifying the entry of Sweden and Finland begins precisely with the internal discussion of each NATO member. On the scenario in Portugal, after having highlighted the sovereignty of Parliament and questioned whether unanimity is expected in it, Cravinho denied it and replied that “unanimity is something that is not even desirable”.

“I believe that there is overwhelming support, between 80% and 90% in favor of accession. If so, there will be no difficulty in ratification”, he predicted. Once approved internally – and in each member of the alliance – the process goes on to NATO meetings and Gomes Cravinho hopes that the ratification process will begin “as soon as possible”.

Faced with the Russian position that the entry of both countries into the alliance can be seen as an aggressive act, the Portuguese minister took the opportunity to emphasize that NATO is “a defensive alliance and the mutual guarantee of all, and for all, is of mutual support in case of attack by a third party”, so it “is not aggressive against any party”.

“The accession of Finland and Sweden results from Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which shattered the European security order, and the configuration of a new security order depends on their adhesion to NATO”, he maintained.

The foreign ministers of NATO member countries will meet this weekend in Berlin to discuss what support can be given to both candidates between applying for membership and ratification.

Render’s death? Need to wait for South Africa investigation

Asked about the death of former Portuguese banker João Rendeiro in a South African prison, the Minister of Foreign Affairs regretted what had happened and assured, as he had already done, that the consular authorities “will give all the support they can in these circumstances”, without providing new information.

On whether the Portuguese authorities should participate in the investigation into what happened, Gomes Cravinho said that these procedures “first fall to South Africa”, which must then inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Then it will be thought about the possible need for more information, it is too early for such conclusions.”

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