Sweden says Türkiye's demands for NATO membership fulfilled

    WORLD  01 June 2023 - 13:29

    Sweden has met Türkiye's criteria for ratifying its NATO membership application by passing new anti-terrorism legislation. The kingdom will seek NATO membership in time for the alliance's summit in Vilnius on July 11-12.

    “We have fulfilled what we committed to do and hence, it is also time for Turkey to start its ratification process and keep its part of the deal,” Sweden’s foreign minister Tobias Billstrom said in an interview last week in Stockholm. “Sweden has delivered on all parts of the memorandum.”

    All but two of NATO’s 31 members have ratified Sweden’s application, and Billstrom’s government remains optimistic that it could get the needed approvals from Türkiye and Hungary by the NATO summit to be held in Vilnius in mid-July, according to Bloomberg.

    However, with Erdogan focused on forming a new cabinet, that may be practically difficult. While a declaration of intent to approve Sweden’s bid could be an option, Billstrom insisted that his ambition is to have the formal clearance when NATO leaders meet in the Lithuanian capital.

    Amendments to Sweden's Terrorism Act entered into force on June 1. They provide for the criminalisation of participation in terrorist groups, which implies any activity aimed at "promoting, strengthening and supporting" such organisations. Financing participation in a terrorist organisation, public incitement to terrorist activities and recruitment to commit a crime would also be criminalised.

    In March, Erdogan said Ankara could not ratify the kingdom's NATO accession document because Stockholm refused to extradite 120 people suspected by Turkish authorities of terrorist activities.

    Sweden and Finland applied to join the North Atlantic Alliance in May 2022, but the accession process was blocked by Türkiye by requiring them to declare Kurdish organisations terrorist and extradite individuals accused of terrorism or involvement in a 2016 coup attempt.

    Caliber.Az

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