Turkish defense minister to US counterpart: We hope Sweden delivers on its promises
Turkish defense minister Hulusi Akar told his US counterpart that they hope Sweden fulfills its obligations soon in the context of a deal concerning its bid to become a part of NATO, the ministry said in a statement.
Akar and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd James Austin had a phone conversation on Thursday, and they discussed issues including the extension of the Black Sea grain deal, Finland's recent accession to NATO following the ratification of Helsinki's bid by the Turkish Grand National Assembly, the pending deal for the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey and the project involving US support for the modernization of Turkey's F-16 fighter jet fleet.
Akar told Austin that Ankara's green light for Finland's NATO membership was the most recent manifestation that Turkey always supports the defense alliance's open door policy, the ministry stated, adding that Ankara "hopes that Stockholm will deliver on its promises soon."
Turkey had set conditions to give green light for Sweden's NATO accession in the context of a trilateral deal signed by the two countries and Finland last June.
Ankara says it will ratify the bid provided that Sweden cracks down harder on Kurdish political activists allegedly affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and hands them over to Turkish authorities, stops providing support for the Kurdish militia in Northern Syria, and lifts arms embargoes imposed on Turkey after its occupation of parts of Syria in 2019.
Sweden's efforts so far has not resulted in Turkey's total satisfaction.