Swedish FM: "Tougher anti-terrorism laws will come into force in January"
After a bilateral meeting of Turkish and Swedish foreign ministers in Ankara on Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu complained that "there is no concrete development regarding the extradition of terrorist-related criminals and the freezing of terrorist assets," and that Swedish Supreme Court's rejection of a request for the extradition of a "FETO member" is a "very negative development."
The extradition of Bulent Kenes, the editor-in-chief of a Turkish daily following the lines of the Gulen movement - referred to by Turkish authorities as "FETO" or "Fetullahist Terrorist Organization" - was recently blocked by the Supreme Court in Sweden.
Sweden's foreign minister Tobias Billstrom said that Stockholm hopes Ankara will ratify the Nordic country's NATO application well before an alliance summit in July.
"Things are progressing well, we had an excellent meeting today," Billstrom told Reuters.
At a joint press conference following the meeting, Cavusoglu acknowledged that Sweden had taken some steps to meet conditions spelt out in a trilateral deal, but said more needed to be done.
Billstrom said Sweden had already made good progress and said tougher anti-terrorism laws that will come into force on 1 January in Sweden had been welcomed by Ankara.
"It's not strange that Turkey says there are more things that need to be done. We are not there yet, these things need to be implemented first, but we have taken many steps," Billstrom said, adding that Sweden had also lifted an arms export embargo to Turkey.
The trilateral deal was signed by Turkey, Sweden and Finland during a NATO summit in Spain in late June. Turkey agreed to give a green light for Sweden and Finland's accession to NATO provided that they crackdown on Kurdish activists allegedly affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and hand them over to Turkey, that the two governments do not support the Kurdish militia People's Defense Units (YPG) in Northern Syria, and that they lift arms embargoes imposed on Turkey following the latter's invasion of Syrian territories in 2019.