Turkey says next Swedish government must fulfil the “requirements” over terrorism for NATO membership

Turkey says next Swedish government must fulfil the “requirements” over terrorism for NATO membership
Update: 15 September 2022 00:19
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Top diplomat Cavusoglu reiterated Ankara’s veto threat against Sweden’s joining NATO

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the new Swedish government should address security concerns that Ankara raised in return for dropping its veto against Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership bids, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

Cavusoglu said Ankara had not expected Stockholm to take steps before the parliamentary elections held on Sunday, but next Swedish government should now take steps over the issue, Reuters said.

"They know this agreement will not be approved by the (Turkish) parliament unless they take (steps)," Cavusoglu said, referring to the deal signed by Turkey, Sweden and Finland in June. 

Turkey opposed Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership applications, saying the two Nordic countries failed to combat terrorism. After they promised to address Ankara’s pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects in June via an agreement signed by the three countries, Turkey dropped its objections, paving the way for NATO to officially accept Sweden and Finland’s applications in a summit in Madrid, Spain. 

However, Sweden and Finland’s formally joining the alliance depends on all member states’ final approval. The NATO accession protocols for the two countries need to be ratified by the parliaments of all 30 members, where Ankara says it will not ratify the protocol if Stockholm and Helsinki fail to fulfil their commitments, regarding Turkey’s extradition requests.

"There is an agreement and the requirements of this deal are clear. These must be fulfilled," Cavusoglu said.

Sweden's right-wing opposition bloc, the Moderate Party, Sweden Democrats, Christian Democrats and Liberals, seem to win 175 seats in 349-seat parliament, according to the results of the elections held on Sunday for the country’s legislature body, the Riksdag. 

With around 98 percent of the votes counted, the current results will give the right-wing bloc the majority of one seat over the incumbent left-wing bloc, which includes Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson’s Social Democrats.