May 23, 2024

Westside People

Complete News World

Erdogan said that Turkey would not support Sweden’s bid for NATO unless it stopped anti-Turkish protests

Erdogan said that Turkey would not support Sweden’s bid for NATO unless it stopped anti-Turkish protests

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying on Wednesday that Sweden should not expect a green light from Ankara over its bid to join NATO at the Western alliance’s summit next month unless it prevents anti-Turkish protests in Stockholm.

Erdogan was quoted as telling reporters on a flight back from Azerbaijan on Tuesday that Turkey could not positively treat Sweden’s bid for NATO while “terrorists” were protesting in Stockholm. Turkey’s position will be made clear again in talks with Swedish officials in Ankara on Wednesday.

Erdogan spoke as officials from Turkey, Sweden, Finland and NATO met on Wednesday in Ankara for talks to try to overcome Turkish objections blocking Sweden’s bid to join NATO.

Sweden’s chief negotiator, Oskar Steenström, said talks with Turkish officials had been good and that discussions aimed at overcoming Ankara’s objections would continue, although a new date had not yet been set.

“My job is to convince our counterpart that we’ve done enough. I think we’ve done it,” Steinstrom said. “But Turkey is not ready to make a decision yet and believes that it needs more answers to the questions that they have.”

The Turkish presidency said in a statement that the level of progress made by Sweden under a tripartite agreement agreed upon in Madrid last year was discussed at the meeting. The statement said the parties agreed to continue working on “possible concrete steps” for Sweden’s membership in NATO.

See also  Why is UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson facing his biggest crisis, and what next?

In March, Turkey ratified Finland’s request to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but it still objects to Sweden’s accession to the alliance, as did Hungary.

In justifying its objection to Sweden’s membership, Turkey has accused Stockholm of harboring members of hardline Kurdish groups it considers terrorist.

Sweden says it backed its share of the agreement it struck with Turkey in Madrid aimed at addressing Ankara’s security concerns, including passing a new anti-terror law this month. It says it follows national and international law on extradition.

Turkish-Swedish tensions were recently inflamed by an anti-Turkish-NATO protest in Stockholm last month, when the flag of the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is banned in Turkey as well as in the European Union, was displayed. to the parliament building.

Commenting on the recent legal changes in Sweden, Erdogan said:

“This is not just a matter of amending a law or changing the constitution. What is the job of the police there? They have legal and constitutional rights and they have to exercise their rights. The police should prevent these (protests),” he added.

Erdogan said that while he was holding talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg earlier this month, a similar protest was held in Stockholm. He added that he had told Stoltenberg that Sweden should prevent such measures to secure Turkey’s approval of its membership in NATO.

After his meeting with Erdogan, Stoltenberg said an agreement could be reached on Sweden’s accession to the alliance before the NATO summit in Vilnius next month.

See also  Largest outbreak of Covid in Antarctica puts US McMurdo station on pause | Antarctica

Additional reporting by Eiji Toksabay and Hüseyin Hayatsifer in Ankara, Simon Johnson, Johan Ahlander and Niklas Pollard in Stockholm; Editing by Darren Butler, Nick McPhee, and Mark Heinrichs

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.