Stockholm has so far not taken any? Tangible? measures to solve their problems, Ankara claims
The Swedish government should address issues of “fundamental importance” for Turkey to reach an agreement on its NATO membership, Ankara said on Saturday. The news follows a telephone conversation between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.
Stockholm should “change its attitude” towards the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Turkey and many Western nations regard as a terrorist organization, the president’s office said in a statement. So far, Sweden has not taken any “tangible measures” to alleviate Ankara’s concerns in this regard, it added.
Other issues that prevent the two sides from reaching an agreement are Sweden’s arms embargo and restrictions on the Turkish defense industry. Ankara has called on Stockholm to take on “binding commitments” on these issues, by establishing “clear implementation mechanisms”.
Andersson described the telephone conversation with Erdogan as a “good conversation” in a Twitter post, but otherwise left some details about the discussion.
In a separate conversation on Saturday, the Turkish leader also raised Sweden’s and Finland’s membership offer with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. According to the Turkish side, Erdogan Stoltenberg informed about continued concerns regarding the adoption of Finland and Sweden.
The two Nordic countries applied to join the US-led military alliance in May, expressing concern about their security in the middle of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. The move met strong opposition from Turkey, which demanded that Finland and Sweden stop hosting PKK members.
On Thursday, Stoltenberg acknowledged that he could not “guarantee” the membership of the two nations but said that was his goal. At the same time, he praised Turkey as a key NATO member and added that its concerns should be addressed.