TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signaled on Saturday that no progress had been made in Sweden’s attempts to join NATO, and called on Stockholm to take “concrete measures” to address Ankara’s concerns, his office said.
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In a telephone conversation with Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, Erdogan reiterated that “Sweden should take action on such fundamental issues as fighting terrorism,” the Turkish presidency said in a statement, AFP reported.
Turkey “wanted to see binding commitments on these issues along with concrete and clear measures,” he added.
Turkish officials said Ankara did not see the summit as a deadline for resolving Ankara’s objections.
Andersson, who became prime minister at the end of last year, said that the conversation with Erdogan went well.
She tweeted that they had “agreed on the importance of making progress ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid next week, where I look forward to meeting with President Erdogan and other allied leaders”.
Ankara has accused Finland, and Sweden in particular, of providing a refuge for banned Kurdish militants whose decades-long uprising against the Turkish state has claimed tens of thousands of lives.
Erdogan told Andersson that Sweden “should make concrete changes in its attitude” towards the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliates, the presidency said.
“In this regard, no concrete measures were seen to address Turkey’s concerns taken by Sweden,” it added.
He also said that he hoped that the restrictions on Turkey’s defense industry would be lifted, and that Sweden would extradite several people whom Ankara had accused of involvement in terrorism.
Erdogan also told Stoltenberg that “Sweden and Finland should take concrete and sincere steps” against banned Kurdish militants, the presidency said.
Stoltenberg said he had a “good conversation” with “our esteemed ally” Erdogan.
“We agreed to continue the talks in Brussels and Madrid next week,” he tweeted.