Türkiye reiterates need for solid moves from Sweden, Finland
With days left for the NATO Summit in Madrid, Türkiye has reiterated that Sweden and Finland should take binding and concrete steps to fulfill its demands regarding the fight against terrorism if they want to join the alliance.
To this end, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan conveyed Türkiye’s resolute messages to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson in separate phone conversations over the weekend.
“Erdoğan underscored that Sweden and Finland should take concrete and sincere steps against PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist organization,” read a statement issued by his office. Erdoğan also stressed that “Sweden and Finland must lift embargoes and similar restrictions against Türkiye in defense industry export, and pledge not to resort to such actions in the future.”
For his part, Stoltenberg said he discussed Finland and Sweden’s applications to NATO, stating, “We agreed to continue the talks in Brussels and Madrid next week.”
The NATO chief referred to the continuation of a trilateral meeting between senior officials from Türkiye, Sweden and Finland that took place under his auspices at the NATO headquarters last week. There was no breakthrough in talks, although the parties expressed that some improvements have been observed.
Erdoğan talks to Swedish PM
Erdoğan also spoke over the phone with Sweden’s prime minister.
He reiterated that Sweden should take steps regarding fundamental matters such as combatting terrorism which is of importance to Türkiye, the statement read.
“Stating that Sweden should make concrete changes in its attitude towards PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist organization, Erdoğan noted that in this regard no tangible action aimed at addressing Türkiye’s concerns was seen to have been taken by Sweden,” it added.
Voicing Türkiye’s expectation for the lifting of the arms embargo and legal and de facto restrictions in the defense industry as well as the fulfillment of the extradition and deportation requests, Erdoğan stressed that as Türkiye, they wanted to see binding commitments on these issues together with concrete and clear actions.
Ankara’s demands not fully responded
The applications by Sweden and Finland to join the alliance will be discussed at the NATO Summit that will take place in Madrid on June 28 and 30. According to NATO procedures, a consensus of 30 nations is needed to give a green light to these two Nordic states’ NATO bid. Ankara complains that Sweden and Finland’s stances in the fight against anti-Türkiye terrorism are far from satisfactory. Although these countries have taken some steps, they are not fully addressing Ankara’s demands.