Sweden reveals complications in NATO talks — RT World News
Turkey has repeatedly raised the issue of photos of Swedish MPs waving PKK flags, the Stockholm foreign minister said.
Talks with Turkey over Sweden’s NATO membership have become more difficult, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Saturday. This is due to photos that emerged in July showing several left-wing Swedish parliamentarians posing with flags of a Kurdish organization that Ankara considers terrorist.
In June, after a series of intense negotiations, Turkey agreed to formally support Stockholm and Helsinki joining the US-led military bloc on the condition that they crack down on groups Ankara has named as terrorist organizations. Among them are activists from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who have sought asylum in the two Nordic states, and supporters of exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen. Deliberations on how to implement the agreement, which was signed at the NATO summit in Madrid, are still ongoing.
Speaking to the Aftonbladet newspaper, Linde said talks on the issue had become more complicated after Swedish Left Party MPs were filmed waving PKK flags in July during the Almedalen Week festival, an annual political forum held on the island of Gotland. .
According to the minister, Turkey has continuously raised this issue, which has also gained a lot of attention in the Turkish media. Linde said Sweden insists that « principles of freedom of speech, expression“allowing such a demonstration, adding however that the Swedish government judges such behavior”totally inappropriate.”
His comments come after Sweden, Finland and Turkey held talks on Friday on the implementation of the trilateral agreement involving Ankara dropping its objections to the two countries’ NATO candidacies.
Senior Swedish diplomat slams left for supporting ‘terrorists’
The agreement responded to Turkey’s concerns about the arms embargo on Ankara and the activities of Kurdish militants within the borders of the two nations. Stockholm and Helsinki have also signaled readiness to extradite dozens of Kurdish fighters living on their soil, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying Sweden has « promised« to deport »73 terrorists.”
Earlier this month, the Swedish Ministry of Justice announced it would extradite a Turkish national wanted for fraud to his home country in the first such case since Stockholm consented to deportation requests from Sweden. Ankara.