Swedish Prime Minister refuses to deny Turkish President's claim of 'extradition'

Swedish Prime Minister refuses to deny Turkish President's claim of 'extradition'
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Pressed several times on Sunday to say whether a promise to extradite 73 individuals had been given to Turkey, Magdalena Andersson merely repeated the position of Sweden.

Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson refused on Sunday to deny a claim by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Sweden had promised to deport individuals sought by Ankara in the context of a trilateral memorandum signed by Sweden, Finland and Turkey last week.

The memorandum marked an agreement between the three countries on the issue of Sweden and Finland's accession to NATO. Turkey consented to dropping its objection to two Nordic countries' accession as they assured that they 'will not provide support' to the People's Protection Units (YPG) in north Syria and to the organization described as 'FETO' in Turkey, and confirmed that the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is a 'proscribed terrorist organization.'

The two countries also 'committed to prevent activities of the PKK and all other terrorist organizations and their extensions, as well as activities by individuals in affiliated and inspired groups or networks linked to these terrorist organizations.'

As for the 'extradition' of individuals, it was stated in the memorandum that 'Finland and Sweden will address Turkey's pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thoroughly.'

Two days after the memorandum was signed, Erdogan said on Thursday that Sweden had 'promised' Turkey to extradite '73 terrorists'.

Despite questioning by journalists, Andersson would not say whether such a commitment had been made to Ankara for it to lift objections to Sweden's NATO membership.

"I've been a minister for eight years and I never talked about what is said in the negotiation room," she said. "(That) actually puts me in a bit of a difficult situation right now," she added.

Simply repeating Stockholm's position, Andersson went on to say that Sweden will continue to respect national and international laws, no Swedish nationals will be extradited, the decision will be up to independent authorities and courts.

"If you are not involved in terrorist activities, there is no need for concern," she said.