Budapest Post

Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate
Budapest, Europe and world news

Sweden still has requirements to meet to join NATO: Turkey

Sweden still has requirements to meet to join NATO: Turkey

Stockholm is not even halfway through fulfilling the commitments it made to secure Ankara’s support, Turkey says.
Turkey appreciates Sweden’s steps so far as it seeks approval to join NATO but it is not even halfway through fulfilling the commitments it made to secure Ankara’s support for its membership, the Turkish foreign minister says.

Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that a Swedish court’s decision not to extradite a man wanted by Turkey for alleged links to a failed 2016 coup had “poisoned” a positive atmosphere in negotiations on Sweden’s membership in the military alliance.

Sweden and Finland dropped their longstanding policies of military neutrality this year and decided to apply to join NATO after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The move requires the unanimous approval of the alliance’s current 30 members.

Turkey has held up the process while pressing the two Nordic countries to crack down on groups it considers to be “terrorist” organisations and to extradite people suspected of “terror-related” crimes.

The parliaments of 28 NATO countries have already ratified Sweden’s and Finland’s memberships. Turkey and Hungary are the only members that haven’t yet given their approval.


Speaking at a joint news conference in Ankara with Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström, Cavusoglu said the Turkish government still was waiting for a “concrete development” on extraditions and asset freezes.

Turkish defence companies have also been unable to procure some equipment from Sweden despite the lifting of a weapons ban, he added.

“There is a document – it needs to be implemented. We’re not even at the halfway point yet. We’re at the beginning,” he said, referring to a memorandum of understanding that Turkey, Sweden and Finland signed in June.

Under the deal, the two countries agreed to address Turkey’s security concerns, including requests for the deportation and extradition of Kurdish fighters and people linked to a network run by US-based Muslim scholar Fethullah Gulen. The Turkish government accuses Gulen of masterminding an attempted coup in 2016, which he denies.

Billström visited Turkey after Sweden’s top court refused to extradite journalist Bulent Kenes, whom Turkey accuses of being among the coup plotters. Kenes, who was granted asylum in Sweden, was the editor of the English-language Today’s Zaman newspaper, which was owned by the Gulen network and was closed down by the government as part of its crackdown on the group.

“The negotiations [between Turkey and Sweden] were continuing in a constructive way,” Cavusoglu said. “But this last [incident], the rejection of Kenes’s extradition, unfortunately seriously poisoned this atmosphere.”

Billström said Sweden is determined to fulfill its commitments and Stockholm was in the process of strengthening its “anti-terrorism” legislation.

A constitutional amendment will enter into force on January 1 that restricts the freedom of association of groups that engage in or support “terrorism”, he said.

The Swedish government also plans to introduce legislation that further impedes people taking part in the activities of “terrorist” groups, Billström said.


“My message to Minister Cavusoglu and to the Turkish people is clear: Sweden keeps its promises,” the minister said. “We take the agreement seriously. We have initiated steps on every paragraph, and we will continue to implement it.”

Billström later told The Associated Press news agency by phone that Sweden has stressed that cases such as Kenes’s are handled by independent courts.

“We are bound by this decision, and that is how it is,” he said.

Billström said conversations between Sweden and Turkey were taking place at multiple levels of government and that Ankara acknowledged Sweden had made strides in meeting the memorandum’s terms.

He could not give a time frame for when Turkey might be ready to approve Sweden’s NATO membership.

“We hope that we can become members at the NATO summit in Vilnius in July at the latest,” Billström said. “Our target is to have the application ratified by the Turkish parliament long before that.”

“Meetings are held in a good spirit,” he said. “We are heading in the right direction. We will gradually fulfill this memorandum.”
Newsletter

Related Articles

0:00
0:00
Close
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
EU Investigates TikTok for Child Safety Concerns
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
France and Germany Struggle to Align on European Defense Strategy
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
Russia "Very Close" To Creating Cancer Vaccines, Says Vladimir Putin
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
US Rejects Putin's Ceasefire Offer in Ukraine
The Dangers of Wildfire Smoke and Self-Protection Strategies
A Londoner has been arrested for expressing his Christian beliefs.
Chinese Women Favor AI Boyfriends Over Humans
Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty
Google pledges 25 million euros to boost AI skills in Europe
Hungarian President Katalin Novák Steps Down Amid Pardon Controversy
Activist crashes Hillary Clinton's speech, calls her a 'war criminal.'
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Trudeau reacts to Putin's mention of Canadian Parliament applauding a former Ukrainian Nazi in his interview with Tucker Carlson.
The Spanish police blocked the farmers protest. So the farmers went out and moved the police car out of the way.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy fires top Ukraine army commander
Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin raises EU concerns
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
Russia's Economy Expands by 3.6% Due to Increased Military Spending
Ukraine MPs Vote To Permit Use Of Dead Soldiers' Sperm
German Princess Becomes First Aristocrat To Pose Naked On Playboy Cover
UK’s King Charles III diagnosed with cancer
EU's Ursula von der Leyen Confronts Farmer Protests Amid Land Policy Debates
Distinguishing Between Harmful AI Media and Positive AI-Generated Content: A Crucial Challenge for the EU
Tucker Carlson explains why he interviewed Putin
Dutch farmers are still protesting in the Netherlands against the government, following the World Economic Forum's call for 'owning nothing.'
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stands up for European farmers and says, 'Brussels is suffocating European farmers.
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
French farmers are not messing around.
The Dutch farmers have now BLOCKED the border crossing.
"STOP LYING"
Is Germany again the 'sick man of Europe'?
When dead children are just the price of doing business, Zuckerberg’s apology is empty
Employment and AI: A Double-Edged Sword
Thousands of Germans Protest Against Far-Right Party
×