Turkey: Sweden and Finland should hand over terrorists to join NATO

Among the positive signs that have emerged recently in regarding the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO, Turkey has renewed its requests.

His foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Bucharest, that his country is in favor of seeing more constructive steps.

Deliver the terrorists

He stressed that Turkey welcomes progress made with Sweden and Finland towards NATO membership, but wants to see more tangible steps in terms of delivery of terrorists.

He added: “The two countries have taken some steps, but we have not witnessed the extradition of criminals and the freezing of terrorist assets,” referring to Kurdish opposition groups and personalities affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara classifies as a terrorist, according to Reuters.

Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Bilstrom announced today that his country and Finland have made good progress towards concluding an agreement with Ankara regarding their membership of the alliance.

Interestingly, officials from the three countries announced last August (2022) that they had agreed to continue talks in the coming months, to discuss the security concerns raised by Ankara as a precondition for allowing the two Nordic countries to join NATO.

Terms of Ankara

Stockholm and Helsinki had abandoned their traditional policy of neutrality by announcing their willingness to join the alliance, after the launch of the Russian military operation on the territory of neighboring Ukraine on 24 February.

Apply last June (2022) for membership, which must be approved by all member states of the alliance.

However, Turkey has objected, accusing it of imposing a ban on arms exports and of supporting groups it considers terrorists, in reference to the “PKK” and other opponents. He also called on the two countries to hand over the wanted suspects in cases related to terrorism.

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