Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said this Sunday that the Turkish government is making a number of demands on Sweden to accept NATO membership, which Stockholm “cannot and does not want to meet.”
“[A Turquia] wants what we cannot and do not want to give. now the solution [da adesão à Aliança Atlântica] falls on the Turks,” the Prime Minister of Sweden said during the conference “People and Defense”, held in Stockholm, the newspaper Aftonbladet quotes.
The conference was also attended by Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg and Foreign Minister of Finland Pekka Haavisto, another country that has also applied to join NATO in order, in line with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, to protect itself from the threat Russia and which, like Sweden, depends on the removal of the Turkish veto.
Turkey has refused to accept the two countries into the Atlantic Alliance until they hand over all individuals accused by Ankara of being members of Kurdish organizations that have been declared terrorist groups by the Turkish government, such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
On the other hand, Turkey is also calling for the opening of bilateral arms trade.
Before the conference, the head of Finnish diplomacy assured that Finland would wait for the resolution of disagreements from Turkey and Sweden.
“We are in no hurry to join NATO. In any case, we hope Sweden gets the green light,” Haavisto said.
On the 3rd of this month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Finland and Sweden should take “further steps” to fulfill Ankara’s demands for a “green light” from Turkey to join NATO, given that “time is running out.”
The entry of a new country into the Atlantic Alliance requires ratification by the parliaments of 30 member countries, a move that has already been taken by all but Hungary and Turkey.
The Turkish government is looking into joining Finland and Sweden to the Atlantic Alliance with a number of other countries, including the US, Cavusoglu added, stressing in this context that he foresees a meeting with his North American counterpart Anthony Blinken on the 18th. this month in Washington.
“To those who ask us about this issue, we say that when steps are taken, when obligations are fulfilled, membership will become a reality,” the head of Turkish diplomacy insisted.
In this sense, he referred to the memorandums signed by Turkey with Sweden and Finland at the end of June 2022 in Madrid on the sidelines of the NATO summit, in which Ankara conditions the ratification of its accession with a number of requirements.
Among other things, Ankara hopes that the courts of the two countries will extradite several people whom it accuses of terrorism, which is one of the main requirements.
On the other hand, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hinted that the Turkish parliament may wait until the country’s next general election in June before voting on a new renewal of the military pact.