STOCKHOLM, June 10 (Xinhua) – The Swedish government is striving to make “constructive progress” with Turkey regarding Ankara’s objections to Sweden’s attempt to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Friday.
“Our ambition is to make constructive progress on the issues that Turkey has raised,” Linde said in the country’s new Statement on Foreign Policy, published on Friday.
In mid-May, Sweden and Finland submitted applications to join NATO. While the parliaments of several NATO countries have already approved the two countries ‘attempts to join the military alliance, the process has proved less straightforward as Turkey soon objected, citing Swedish and Finnish ties with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). and other groups Turkey labels as terrorists as a concern. Ankara has also expressed dissatisfaction with the Swedish arms embargo against Turkey.
In the statement on foreign policy, Linde made several comments aimed at appeasing Ankara.
“Sweden condemns terrorism in the strongest possible way. A new and tougher terrorist crime law enters into force on 1 July and the government is preparing further tightening of terrorism legislation,” says Linde.
In her speech, she also signaled that Sweden may be willing to reconsider the arms embargo against Turkey: “NATO membership can also change the conditions for the export of defense equipment in our national regulations.”