Turkey says more steps are needed for Sweden’s NATO membership

Turkey says more steps are needed for Sweden's NATO membership

, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) — has not taken enough “concrete steps” to extradite people Ankara considers terrorists and freeze their assets, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday, as Sweden tries to convince to ratify the country. apply to join .

“They deported a PKK (banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party)-affiliated person to our country. This is step in the right direction. But, there is no concrete development in terms of extradition of terrorist-related criminals and freezing of terrorist assets,” Cavusoglu said at a joint press conference with his visiting Swedish counterpart .

A Swedish court’s decision to refuse Turkey’s request to extradite journalist Bulent Kenes, whom Ankara accuses of being a member of the Gulen movement, was “a very negative development,” the minister said.

The Swedish statements about lifting the restrictions to Türkiye on defense industry products were positive, but Turkish defense companies have not yet received the necessary positive response to import some products, Cavusoglu also said.

“Sweden keeps its promises. We take this deal very seriously. We have started to take our steps for each paragraph and we will continue to implement it,” said Billström.

“The PKK may not be a big threat in Sweden, but it is definitely a very important threat to Turkey and we take it very seriously,” the Swedish minister added.

and Sweden’s NATO bids were initially blocked by the Turkish , which accused them of supporting anti-Türkiye groups when they rejected Ankara’s extradition requests for suspects linked to the PKK and the Gulen movement.

On June 28, Turkey, Sweden and Finland reached a trilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid. The Nordic states pledged to support Turkey’s fight against terrorism and agreed to address Ankara’s ongoing extradition requests for terror suspects. Lifting defense industry restrictions on Turkey was another condition of the deal.

Sweden and Finland have restricted arms exports to Türkiye after the country launched a cross-border operation in northern in 2019. On September 30, Sweden’s Strategic Products Inspectorate, which controls arms exports, said it had approved exports to Türkiye.

Source: sn.dk

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