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NATO blinks as Turkey maintains threats to block Sweden, Finland from alliance

Turkey's strategy in blocking Sweden's and Finland’s NATO memberships could soon start to pay off.

Ankara’s threats to block Sweden's and Finland’s NATO memberships may yield some modest dividends, with the security alliance weighing whether to devote its last session during a summit in Madrid next week to “challenges” to its southern flank — meaning Turkey — and the fight against terrorism, Al-Monitor has learned.

The session, which sources say will most likely be added to the program, would provide Turkey with a platform to air its longstanding gripes over what it says is a lack of NATO solidarity over the threats it faces, including from a US-backed armed Kurdish group in Syria that Ankara says is closely linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The PKK is waging an armed campaign for Kurdish autonomy inside Turkey and is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

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