The two Nordic countries must first keep the promises made to Turkey in an agreement reached to lift their veto on their NATO bid, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday. Should Finland and Sweden fail to keep their promises, their application will not be sent to the Turkish parliament at all, he warned.
“The important thing is that promises come true,” That is what Erdogan said during a press conference at the end of a NATO summit in Madrid. “First, Sweden and Finland should carry out their tasks and it is stated in the text … But if they do not, it is of course out of the question that ratification is sent to our Riksdag.” he added.
All countries’ membership offers must be supported by all NATO member states and ratified by their parliaments before the accession process can actually begin.
Turkey and the two Nordic countries reached a 10-point agreement, which involved the persecution of groups that Ankara considers to be “terrorists” and lift the arms embargo, earlier this week.
Turkey will now closely monitor whether Sweden and Finland are fulfilling their promises or not, such as extraditing dozens of individuals wanted by Ankara. “Sweden has promised to extradite 73 terrorists to Turkey.” in Erdogan.
“This is the beginning, we will closely monitor the implementation of the promises in the memorandum and take action accordingly,” he added, praising the deal as a major “diplomatic victory” for Turkey.
Both Finland and Sweden fought to join the US-led NATO bloc in the midst of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine that erupted in late February. While the two nations have maintained close ties with the alliance for decades, they had hitherto remained neutral countries.
However, their NATO operation came to a standstill when Turkey expressed concern over the two nations that house members of groups it considers to be. “terrorists”. The groups include the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the so-called Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization (FETO), an alleged organization said to be led by the US-based Turkish priest Gulen. Ankara believes that FETO is the culprit behind the failed attempt in 2016 to overthrow Erdogan.