Sweden should take more concrete steps for NATO: FM

Sweden should take more concrete steps for NATO: FM

Sweden should take more concrete steps for NATO: FM

Sweden should take more concrete steps in terms of fighting anti-Türkiye terror on its soil in order to be admitted to NATO, the Turkish foreign minister said, calling on Stockholm to focus on efforts to curb finance and propaganda means of the terror organizations.

“The PKK/YPG/PYD continue to be active in Sweden. They generate important resources for the PKK. These must stop. We also want the extradition of terrorists,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters after two-day NATO meetings in Brussels on March 5.

Following the ratification of the Turkish Parliament, Finland officially joined the alliance on April 4 after a ceremony and its flag being raised at the headquarters in Brussels.

Çavuşoğlu stressed that Finland’s accession into NATO demonstrates Türkiye’s commitment to the open-door policy of the alliance and this Nordic state joined it after fulfilling the security demands of Türkiye.

“Finland has taken steps in line with our trilateral agreement,” he said, citing a memorandum of understanding signed between Türkiye, Sweden and Finland in June 2022. Sweden has taken some steps, amended the constitution and anti-terror bill which will take effect on June 1, Çavuşoğlu stated, repeating Ankara’s expectation to see positive steps from Sweden.

Sweden aims to join the alliance before the July summit of NATO leaders in Lithuania.

Türkiye concerned of rise in violence in Ukraine war

On a question, Çavuşoğlu highlighted that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will come to Türkiye for talks on April 6 and 7 and one of the top issues will be the ongoing war in Ukraine. Stressing that the ongoing grain initiative was extended for only 60 days and there is a need to resolve the problems in front of Russian export of its grain and fertilizers, he said “We have discussed these issues with Secretary-General [Antonio Guterres] in New York. We will disclose some issues after they mature enough [regarding solutions].”

Shipment of grains and fertilizers, payments and insurance continue to be a problem and the United States and the United Kingdom play a crucial role in overcoming these, Çavuşoğlu said, informing that he discussed these matters with his American and British colleagues, Antony Blinken and James Cleverly, respectively.

“We are concerned to see that both sides are preparing for major assaults in the spring. We will continue our efforts for a lasting peace,” he stated.

Envoys should be sensitive during election campaigns

On a question about President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s reaction against United States Ambassador to Ankara Jeff Flake for visiting Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the joint presidential candidate of the oppositional alliance, Çavuşoğlu said the envoys should be much more cautious and sensitive during the election periods.

“It’s not acceptable for an envoy to visit a presidential candidate and give the impression that he or she takes a side. Our president reacted against this,” he suggested.