Sweden: Türkiye’s demands to join NATO cannot be met
Sweden has confirmed that it cannot meet Türkiye’s demands to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as Ankara requires Sweden and Finland to hand over people it considers to be linked to terrorism.
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Christerson announced on Sunday, that Türkiye, which has been obstructing since last May Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO, has pushed demands that Sweden cannot and cannot accept.
Christerson said during a conference on defense and security in the presence of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, “Türkiye confirms that we have implemented what we pledged to do, but it also says that it wants things that we cannot and do not want to meet”.
Türkiye requires that Sweden and Finland make more efforts in the field of combating terrorism, including the extradition of persons whom Türkiye accuses of being linked to terrorism.
A few weeks ago, Sweden’s Supreme Court refused to extradite a man Türkiye said was involved in the failed coup in the country in 2016.
A recent opinion poll revealed the support of voters in Sweden for their government with regard to refraining from making concessions on its legal principles to obtain Türkiye’s approval for its application to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Around 79% of the participants in the poll conducted by the Swedish Dagens Neuheter newspaper, whose results were published late last Monday, said that Sweden should continue to abide by its laws in the face of Turkish demands, even if that is at the expense of delaying its accession to NATO, according to Bloomberg news Agency.
10% of those surveyed said that Sweden should seek to join the alliance as soon as possible, regardless of whether that involves concessions on its legal principles.
In May, the two countries submitted two requests to join the alliance in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but Türkiye objected and accused them of harboring militants, including members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party.
Among the sticking points is the extradition of people Türkiye considers terrorists.
Ankara expressed disappointment at a decision late last year by a Swedish supreme court blocking an extradition request for a journalist suspected of being a supporter of the cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Türkiye blames for a failed coup attempt.