Turkiye: Sweden has yet to fulfill obligations on terrorist expulsion

    REGION  03 February 2023 - 10:46

    Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said that Sweden has not yet fulfilled its obligations to expel terrorists based on the NATO membership memorandum that Stockholm and Helsinki signed in June 2022.

    Turkey will not approve Sweden’s NATO bid until the country fulfills these obligations, the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Twitter on February 2, citing Akar.

    "Turkey has initially supported NATO’s open-door policy. The expulsion of terrorists to Turkey as part of the fight against terrorism is the natural outcome of the signing of the memorandum and everyone needs to understand it. We are waiting for it to happen. As long as terrorists continue to receive support, obligations remain unfulfilled and restrictions on the export of defense industry products remain in effect, Turkey can in no way say yes [to Sweden’s NATO bid]. Unfortunately, Sweden has so far failed to take sufficient steps in this direction," the ministry said in a statement.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Ankara wouldn’t approve Sweden’s NATO bid. However, he made it clear that Turkey could support Finland’s application.

    Tensions between Ankara and Stockholm rose after the January 21 Quran-burning episode outside the Turkish Embassy in the Swedish capital. Ankara said it would not support Sweden’s NATO bid until Stockholm fulfilled its obligations on combating terrorism.

    On May 18, Helsinki and Stockholm submitted their applications to join the alliance but the process was blocked by Turkey who demanded that the two countries designate Kurdish organizations as terrorist groups, extradite those suspected of terrorism and being involved in the 2016 coup to Ankara, and lift bans on weapons supplies to Turkey. Talks between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, then Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg took place in Madrid on June 28, 2022. As a result, a memorandum was signed making it possible for Sweden and Finland to join NATO. However, Ankara warned that Turkey’s parliament could refuse to approve it unless the two Nordic countries comply with their obligations to combat terrorist organizations.

    Caliber.Az

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