Swedish FM blames opposition for deteriorating relations with Turkey
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde accused opposition deputies of hindering Sweden’s route to NATO by supporting the Kurdish fighters in Northern Syria, in an interview with Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.
Linde said the deputies from the Left Party of Sweden who sympathized with the YPG (People’s Protective Units) in Syria made it difficult for the Swedish government to continue talks with Turkey, which tied up the Nordic country’s accession to NATO with distancing itself from the “terrorist” armed group.
YPG is the main component of US-backed SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) which controls swathes of Northern Syria in a de facto fashion, since it defeated the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2017.
Tukey says YPG is affiliated with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) which has been fighting against Turkey for four decades and has been designated as a terrorist organizaton by the US and the EU.
On July 4, the left-wing Daniel Riazat, Momodou Malcolm Jallow and Lorena Delgado Varas posed with PKK and YPG flags in the Swedish city of Almedalen saying they did not accept these organizations being in the terror list.
Linde said this incident “was brought up many, many times” by the Turkish delegation during the talks.
“It has been very big in the Turkish media, while we explain that according to Swedish freedom of expression and demonstration and so on, you have the right to it. But from the government's side, we think it is very inappropriate. It is just as if you were to take, for example, other terrorist organizations such as Isis or Daesh,” Linda said.
Sweden and Finland officially declared that they would not provide support for the YPG, in a memorandum they signed with Turkey to ease its objection to the NATO accession.