Sweden on its NATO Membership: Turkey is Asking Too Much

Ulf Kristersson

"Sweden is confident that Turkey will approve its application for NATO membership, but we cannot fulfill all Turkish demands," Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Sunday, quoted by the Reuters agency.

"Turkey has confirmed that we have done what we said we would do, but they also say that they want things that we cannot or do not want to give them," the Swedish prime minister said on a conference on defense and security issues in the presence of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

In 2022, Sweden, Finland and Turkey signed a tripartite agreement aimed at removing Turkish objections to the two Scandinavian countries' bids for NATO membership, Reuters recalls.

"We are convinced that Turkey will make a decision, we just don't know when," said the Swedish Prime Minister and added: "The decision is in Turkey's hands."

The two countries applied to join NATO in May in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but Turkey resisted and accused them of harboring terrorist fighters, including from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party

At the press conference on Sunday, Kristersson said that demands that Sweden could not or would not fulfill were outside the scope of the tripartite memorandum.

"From time to time, Turkey mentions persons that it wants to be extradited from Sweden. That is why I said that these issues are considered within the framework of Swedish legislation," he emphasized.

At the end of December, Turkey announced that it noted the "positive steps" taken by Stockholm, but asked for "other important steps" to remove its objections, AFP recalled, citing statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu . The statements came days...

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