KazPost

Kazakhstan News
Saturday, Jan 28, 2023

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

KazPost
Close
0:00
0:00
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Dirty bomb fears as URANIUM is found in cargo at Heathrow
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Dubai announces $8.7 trillion economic plan to boost trade, investment and global hub status
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman.
Double standards: UK lawmakers attack EU chief over Ireland claims
Yellen hints at ‘national security’ probe into Twitter purchase
Elon Musk reinstates Donald Trump's Twitter account.
George W. Bush and Barack Obama will hold back-to-back disinformation conferences
Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico are not single anymore
Boris Johnson is about to sign a contract with an American company to get millions for giving speeches. Something he did until very recently for free.
Solar + Powerwall ensures you never lose power, even if the grid goes down
Bavarian Prime Minister Söder: "There is no reason for mask obligations, no lockdowns anymore”
MSNBC tries to discuss the January 6th events with a focus group
Europeans don't want to starve and freeze for Zelensky and Ursula von der Leyen.
This man paid for strangers' grocery and it moved them to tears
×