Turkey to Sweden: Fulfill anti-terrorism commitments to join NATO
Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, called on Sweden to fulfil its commitments regarding the fight against terrorism to start the ratification of Sweden’s accession to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), an intergovernmental military alliance.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister said on Twitter on Thursday, “A crystal clear message to our Swedish Friends! Fulfil your commitments arising from the Trilateral Memorandum & take concrete steps in the fight against terrorism.”
Turkey is one of the main partners of NATO. Turkey has repeatedly opposed Sweden’s bid to join NATO, alleging that the country has links with terrorist groups, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Turkey urged Sweden to fulfil certain conditions, including strict measures against terrorist groups, in order to join the military alliance. Turkey pledged to fight “terror” and terrorism. The Turkish authorities told Sweden to extradite members of those groups wanted by Ankara. Turkey has repeatedly called the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists.
Last year, Sweden and Finland pledged to join NATO. However, Turkey laid down certain conditions to allow Sweden and Finland to join the military alliance. Turkey urged these two countries to fight against terrorism.
Turkey, Sweden and Finland also held talks in Helsinki, the capital of Finland. Representatives from Turkey, Sweden and Finland attended the meeting to address Turkey’s conditions for accepting Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership bids.
Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership soon after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Turkey has already approved Finland’s membership in NATO.
The Turkish minister’s comments came on Thursday after Sweden said it had fulfilled all the conditions set by Turkey to become a member of NATO.
Recently, Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said that his country fulfilled all the commitments. He further said, “It is time for Turkey and Hungary to start the ratification of Swedish membership to NATO.”