Türkiye expects concrete steps from new Swedish government: FM
Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
Türkiye expects Finland and Sweden to take concrete steps on the memorandum signed for their NATO bid Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoğlu said on Sept. 14, stressing that Sweden has already left the elections behind so that its new government can take steps in line with the Madrid deal.
“Elections were held in Sweden. The new government must take necessary steps,” Çavuşoğlu told a group of reporters.
They are aware that otherwise, the Turkish parliament will not ratify their application to NATO, he added.
Recalling the first meeting of the Permanent Joint Mechanism, established within the framework of the Tripartite Memorandum signed by Türkiye, Finland and Sweden at the NATO summit in Madrid, the minister said the outcome of the discussions put forth that no concrete steps were taken by the Nordic countries regarding their promises.
Çavuşoğlu pointed to the fact that Sweden could hardly take a step to meet the memorandum before the elections, but as the polls are now left behind Ankara expects the Nordic country to move on the requirements of the deal.
He said Türkiye does not act under a time constraint, but it was up to the Nordic countries to move on the consensus in order to proceed with their NATO membership application.
The Nordic countries earlier stated that they raised the need for amendments in their laws to meet Türkiye’s expectation of extradition of “terror group members,” he said.
On June 28, the trio signed a trilateral memorandum at the NATO summit in Madrid which envisaged Finland and Sweden showing full solidarity and cooperation with Türkiye in the fight against terrorism, especially the PKK, YPG and FETÖ, and extradition of their members.
He stated that the diplomacy that Türkiye has been following in the last period was appreciated. Çavuşoğlu said that the prominent ones are the grain agreement between Russia and Ukraine, the achievements of Türkiye in the context of Finland and Sweden’s NATO applications, the achievements in the NATO strategic concept and the development of the Organization of Turkish States.
Çavuşoğlu stated that some circles had criticized Türkiye’s policies over the past years, but now they appreciate those policies. “For example, those who said, ‘What are you doing in Libya?’ Now say, especially after the last crisis, ‘I’m glad there is Türkiye there. Türkiye is the guarantee and insurance of stability there.’” he said.
Elaborating on recent tension with Greece, Çavuşoğlu said Ankara’s increasing profile in regional diplomacy has an effect on Athens’s aggression towards Türkiye.
“Greece’s main discomfort is that Türkiye has been a very important actor lately. First, we signed the Maritime Jurisdiction Agreement with Libya. Then we determined the western limits of our continental shelf. We haven’t brought any ships in here for a year and a half. These include the ships of Greece, the Greek part and third countries. They attempted to pierce it nine times. We blocked all these attempts with diplomatic efforts and measures on the ground,” he said.
Asked if there is any planned meeting with the Greek side, for instance on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, Çavuşoğlu said there is no such attempt.
When asked about an internet call in Ukraine for imposing sanctions on Turkish companies that have business with Russia, Çavuşoğlu said, “A perception has been created that this campaign launched by Ukraine is aimed only at Turkish companies. It is not only aimed at Turkish companies. Many companies that are connected and doing business with Russia, such as the U.S. and EU countries, have been created.”
There are more than 18,000 people and companies on this list, but Türkiye demarche both Kyiv and Ankara and asked for an explanation, he added.
Citing the recent tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Çavuşoğlu said, “The clashes on the [Azerbaijan-Armenia] border two days ago show how fragile the situation in the region is.”
Armenia continues with “occasional provocations,” and it is not possible for Azerbaijan not to respond to this, he said.
“If we want lasting peace and stability here, Armenia should abandon provocations and take sincere steps towards cooperation and peace. Both for us and Azerbaijan,” Çavuşoğlu stated.