Sweden can't meet some Türkiye demands for NATO bid: PM

Türkiye, which has for months blocked NATO membership bids by Sweden and Finland, has made some demands that Sweden cannot accept, Sweden's prime minister said on Jan. 8. 

"Türkiye has confirmed that we have done what we said we would do, but it also says that it wants things that we can't, that we don't want to, give it," Ulf Kristersson said during a security conference also attended by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.

"We are convinced that Türkiye will make a decision, we just don't know when," he said, adding that it will depend on internal politics inside Türkiye as well as "Sweden's capacity to show its seriousness."

Sweden and Finland broke with decades of military non-alignment and applied to join the US-led defence alliance in response to Russia's February invasion of Ukraine.

But Türkiye has refused to approve their bid until the two countries take steps against terrorism, including PKK and FETÖ.

Finland's foreign minister said that the country would join NATO at the same time as its neighbour.

"Finland is not in such a rush to join NATO that we can't wait until Sweden gets the green light," Pekka Haavisto, told reporters at Sunday's conference.

NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said he expects both countries will be able to join the military alliance as early as this year, while admitting the decision depends on the Turkish and Hungarian parliaments.

Among the 30 NATO members, only Hungary and Türkiye are yet to green-light the two Nordic applications.

But Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said parliament will soon approve both Finland and Sweden's accession bids, leaving Türkiye the main holdout.

"I expect (that accession will take place in 2023), but I will not guarantee the...

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