Sweden says it will fully fulfill Turkey deal on NATO membership

Sweden says it will fully fulfill Turkey deal on NATO membership
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Oscar Stenstrom said Sweden is ready to be a part of the fight against terrorism

Sweden will fully comply with the agreement signed with Turkey and Finland for joining NATO, said Oscar Stenstrom, the chief negotiator of the country for NATO accession.

"We are all working on it, we will fully fulfill the agreement," Stenstrom told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency on Wednesday.

The Swedish government gave priority to the commitments made within the scope of the deal signed in Madrid in June, he said.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb.24, Sweden and Finland that have a long history of neutrality in military conflicts, officially applied for NATO membership in May. While the vast majority of NATO members welcomed the two country’s applications, Turkey, the second largest army in the alliance, opposed the bids, citing Stockholm and Helsinki’s “failure” to combat threats to Turkey’s security.

After Sweden and Finland promised to address Ankara’s pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects, Turkey dropped its objections against their membership applications, allowing the military organization to formally invite the two countries for joining the alliance at a Madrid summit in June.

Sweden now has a better understanding over Turkey’s security concerns following last month’s bomb attack in Istanbul, Stenstrom said.

“We are ready to be a part of the fight against terrorism,” the chief negotiator said.

"Sweden should not and will not be a safe haven for any terrorist,” he said.

The final approval of the two Scandinavian countries’ NATO bids depends on the current member states’ parliaments. The NATO accession protocols for Sweden and Finland need to be ratified by the parliaments of all 30 members, where Ankara says it will not approve the documents if Stockholm and Helsinki fail to fulfil their commitments, regarding Turkey’s extradition requests of terror suspects.