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Turkey President Erdoğan back down in NATO spat over Sweden and Finland NATO membership

 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will drop his objections to Finland and Sweden joining NATO once an enormous amount of pressure is put on him, said Henri J. Barkey, an adjunct senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.


“It is possible that the Europeans and the Americans would find some facesaving concessions that may not mean much but will satisfy him,” said Barkey, who is also the Cohen Professor of International Relations at Lehigh University.


Erdoğan, who has lost significant political support at home ahead of elections scheduled for next June, is in defensive mode and therefore will try to make the most of everything, Barkey said in an interview with journalist Nervana Mahmoud for Ahval’s Turkish Trends podcast series on Wednesday.


“The thing about the Turks is that they always ask for the maximalist conditions so they make it sound like they want heaven on earth, and hope that eventually they would get a little bit and they would turn around and call it a big victory,” he said.


Turkey blocked the start of NATO membership talks with Finland and Sweden on Wednesday citing their alleged failure to combat terrorism, saying the two Nordic countries provide shelter to members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group fighting for Kurdish autonomy on Turkish soil, and the religious Gülen Movement, which Turkey blames for a coup attempt in 2016.


Turkish officials say that Sweden and Finland have failed to agree to extradite dozens of the so-called terrorists over the past five years. The two countries should also drop an arms embargo on Turkey, Erdoğan says.


Sweden is a country of rule of law and there is absolutely no way that it would extradite a person to a country where anyone can be found guilty by a court on completely invented accusations, Barkey said.


Barkey pointed to an Istanbul court’s decision last month to jail philanthropist Osman Kavala for life for seeking to overthrow the government by financing the Gezi Park protests of 2013. The case was based completely on fictituous accusations, he said.


“So there’s no way on earth that Sweden will give up anybody,” Barkey said.


Erdoğan is in a very difficult situation at home and it is certainly not clear that his party is going to win the polls next year and he may even be defeated himself, Barkey said.


So “He’s using everything to show how tough he is against the West,” he said.


“I think at the end of the day the Turkish public will not vote for Erdoğan or against him on this issue. It’s mostly the economy. Economic conditions are what matters,” Barkey said.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) walks with officials including Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L) as he arrives for an extraordinary NATO summit at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on March 24, 2022. (Photo by Evan Vucci / POOL / AFP)


Don't Hold Crusade In Aba Because Of Rampaging Gunmen — IPOB Advises Deeper Life Church Overseer Kumuyi

 The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, on Thursday, urged Pastor Williams Kumuyi of Deeper Life Bible Church to cancel his scheduled crusade in Abia State.


IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, warned Kumuyi to stop the planned crusade due to the security in the Southeast.


Stressing that IPOB would not allow anyone to die, Powerful noted that any death incurred during the crusade would be blamed on the group.


Powerful said: “We the global movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our great leader Mazi Nnamdi KANU wishes to advise Pastor Kumuyi of Deeper life Ministry to take note of the security situation in the South East as he comes to Aba for his gospel crusade.


”Let him and the organisers of the crusade make sure that nothing happens. The security of this region is not good because of political and criminal activities; therefore we advise him to stop this crusade for security reasons.


“IPOB will not allow anyone to die because of this crusade scheduled to hold in Aba. The operation of criminals operating as unknown gunmen infiltrating the events is high and they will blame it on IPOB.


“We ask him to pray for an end to the insecurity in Biafra land if he can. We charge Christians and men of God in Biafra land to engage God in fervent prayers to expose all those behind the insecurity in our land.


“Kumuyi should also pray against wicked Leaders and saboteurs in Biafra land and Nigeria. They are the real problems of the people. Let him use the opportunity to pray against the powers holding people captive in Nigeria in his church in Lagos.”





Amaechi Resigns As Nigeria Transportation Minister

 Frontline Presidential aspirant on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, on Monday, officially resigned his position in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari as the Minister of Transportation to focus on his aspiration to contest for the 2023 presidency.


In a press statement issued by the Amaechi Presidential Media Committee (APMC) signed by Kingsley Wali, in Abuja, Amaechi in his resignation letter expressed profound gratitude to the President for considering him fit to serve in his administration.


He equally thanked Buhari for the enormous support given him, which he said, was responsible for the tremendous record of achievements he made in the Ministry of Transportation over the last seven years.


The statement quoted Amaechi as saying in his resignation letter: “It is with mixed feelings that I tender my resignation as the Minister of Transportation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to contest for the Presidential ticket of our great party, the All Progressives Congress.


“Your Excellency, it has been a great honour and privilege serving as a member of your cabinet following your historic victory at the polls in 2015. Under your administration, the Ministry of Transportation has recorded significant achievements, made possible by your visionary support and commitment to ensuring that we deliver on our mandate.


“As I embark on the next phase of our mission to work towards a better Nigeria for ALL NIGERIANS, I humbly seek Your Excellency’s prayers, blessings and look towards your continuous support and guidance.

“Your Excellency, whilst humbly seeking your kind consideration of my request please accept the assurances of my highest esteem.”


Amaechi, the 56-year-old quintessential politician believed to be the most qualified among those aspiring to secure the ticket of the APC for the 2023 presidential election, is widely reckoned as the best performing minister in the Buhari’s cabinet. The kind of zeal and energy with which he carried on in his revolutionization of the transport sector was never seen in any previous Minister of Transportation in the country.


All the agencies under his direct supervision – Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), etc – have been remarkably transformed and repositioned for better performance and greater efficiency in their operations.






Sweden Ends Neutrality, Joins Finland In Seeking NATO Membership

 Sweden has decided to follow neighboring Finland and apply for NATO membership, ending more than 200 years of military nonalignment because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, officials said Monday.


Sweden’s Prime Minister announced Monday that Sweden will join Finland in seeking NATO membership in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


The historic shift, which comes after more than 200 years of military nonalignment in the Nordic country, is likely to upset Russian President Vladimir Putin.


“We will inform NATO that we want to become a member of the alliance,” Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said.


The announcement came after a debate in Riksdagen, or Parliament, earlier Monday showed that there is a huge support for joining NATO. Out of Sweden’s eight parties, only two smaller left-leaning parties opposed it.


On Sunday, the Swedish Social Democrats broke with the party’s long-standing position that Sweden must remain nonaligned, paving the way for a clear majority for NATO membership in the parliament.


The move in Sweden came after neighboring Finland announced Sunday that it too would seek to join the 30-country alliance.


Public opinion in both countries was firmly against joining NATO before the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, but support for NATO membership surged quickly after that.


What is NATO and what Countries are members?


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a military and political alliance into safeguarding the security and defense of its 30 members in Europe and North America.


NATO was formed in Washington DC in April 1949 to strengthen ties between States in the face of a perceived Soviet threat. It was originally a 12-member alliance (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States); then later, Greece and Turkey (1952), Germany (1955), Spain (1982), the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland (1999), Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia (2004), Albania and Croatia (2009), Montenegro (2017) and North Macedonia (2020).


The group's Civilian Headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium. Its general Staff is structured into the Allied Command Operation in Mons, Belgium and the Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia, USA.


NATO carried out ground, air and naval operations across the globe. Forces are operating in Kosovo and the Mediterranean. The group carries out Training in Iraq and it's also co-operating with the African Union.


NATO also fulfills activating machines for its members. The Principles of collective defense is at the heart of NATO's founding treaty. According to Article V, an attack against one member is considered an attack against all. The article was first invoked in 2001 as a sign of members solidarity as a response to the 9/11 attacks in the US.





Russia Cuts Electricity Supply To Finland Over It's Plans To Join NATO

 Russia suspends electricity supplies to Finland, a supplier said on Friday as tensions rise over Helsinki's NATO bid amid Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine.


'We are forced to suspend the electricity import starting from May 14,' said RAO Nordic, a subsidiary of Russian state energy holding Inter RAO.


'RAO Nordic is not able to make payments for the imported electricity from Russia.'


The firm is not directly faced with Western sanctions over the invasion into Ukraine, Montel News reports. However the outlet adds Inter Rao Lietuva - its 51% owned Lithuanian subsidiary - is.


MailOnline has reached out to RAO Nordic for more information.


It comes as Russia yesterday accused Finland of 'pushing above its weight' as the country signalled its intention to join NATO.


Putin's EU ambassador vowed to bolster defences on the Russia and Finland's shared 800-mile-long border if it decided to join the alliance.


Vladimir Chizhov said if Finland joined it would lead to 'certain military-technical measures, like improving or raising the degree of defence preparations along the Finnish border'.


A move would 'certainly necessitate rethinking of Russian defence posture' but not 'necessarily [involve] troops and tanks, but certain preparations like radars, perhaps', he told Sky News.


Yesterday a former British ambassador to Russia has said there may be 'much more Russian nuclear deployment in the Baltic' areas in response to Finland potentially becoming a NATO member in light of the war in Ukraine.


Sir Tony Brenton told BBC's Newsnight programme the Kremlin may think 'it expands their view of NATO as a threat to them'.


He said: 'They will be very conscious especially as this war winds its way to a conclusion that their conventional forces have not produced the results they hoped for.


'They will be increasingly inclined therefore to use their nuclear strength as a demonstration they need to be taken seriously.


'I think we need to resign ourselves to the likelihood of much more Russian nuclear deployment in the Baltic area as a response to Finland's accession to NATO, when it comes, and Sweden's very likely one as well.'





Turkey President Erdoğan back down in NATO spat over Sweden and Finland NATO membership

 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will drop his objections to Finland and Sweden joining NATO once an enormous amount of pressure is p...

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