Sweden lifts ban on arms exports to Turkey

Sweden lifts ban on arms exports to Turkey
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As part of a deal to have Turkey's consent on Sweden and Finland's accession to NATO, Sweden has ended a ban imposed in 2019 over Turkey's invasion of Syria.

Swedish authorities announced on Friday that a ban on exports of military equipment to Turkey has been reversed.

Sweden, Finland and Turkey had signed a deal on 28 June to clear the way for the two Nordic countries to become NATO members in return for their assurance to prosecute and extradite Kurdish activists allegedly affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), not support the People's Protection Units (YPG) in north Syria, and to end arms export bans imposed on Turkey after its occupation of Syrian territories in 2019.

The recent announcement of reversing the ban came from Sweden's Inspectorate of Strategic Products (ISP), who said in a statement that it began giving export permits during the third quarter but did not reveal which companies or products had been given the green light.

"Taking into account the altered defense and security policy conditions, ISP has after a full review decided to grant a permit for follow-up deliveries from Swedish defense industry to Turkey," the statement said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had repeatedly warned after the signing of the 28 June deal that Turkey will still halt the accession process of Sweden and Finland to NATO if Turkey's conditions are not fulfilled by the two countries.

Recently on Thursday, Slovakia became the latest NATO member that ratified Sweden and Finland’s NATO accession protocols, leaving Turkey on the non-signatory list alongside Hungary.