Turkish FM: We will not ratify Sweden's NATO membership
Turkish foreign minister said on Tuesday that Turkey will not ratify Sweden's accession to NATO since Stockholm "has not fulfilled its obligations under a trilateral deal" signed by Turkey, Sweden and Finland in June 2022. Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu did not further specify the exact content of Ankara's expectations.
"If one day Sweden fulfills its obligations, then we will sit down and see, but at the moment, it is not possible for us to say yes to Sweden's NATO bid under these conditions," he told a joint news conference he attended with his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto in Budapest.
Turkey had agreed to give green light to Sweden's and Finland's NATO membership in the context of the said trilateral deal, provided that the governments of the two Nordic countries crackdown on Kurdish political activists allegedly affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and hand them over to Turkey, stop providing support for the Kurdish militia in Northern Syria, and lift arms embargoes imposed on Turkey after its occupation of parts of Syria in 2019.
Ankara has been criticizing Stockholm for not having extradited enough activists, who it calls "terrorists."
Cavusoglu earlier said on 26 January that it is "meaningless" to hold a trilateral meeting with Sweden and Finland to discuss their NATO bids after protests this month in Stockholm.
In two separate incidents, first an effigy of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was hung from a lamp post by Kurdish protesters, then far-right Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan burned a copy of the Koran, Islam's holy book, in front of the Turkish embassy in the Swedish capital.
Turkey and Hungary are the remaining two NATO members who have not yet ratified Sweden's and Finland's accession to NATO. Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban earlier announced that the parliament will ratify the two Nordic countries' NATO membership in early 2023.