No progress on Swedish, Finnish NATO bids: Erdogan

Türkiye Materials 26 June 2022 16:23 (UTC +04:00)
No progress on Swedish, Finnish NATO bids: Erdogan

Sweden and Finland have yet to take "concrete and sincere" steps to ease Turkiye's concerns before their proposed NATO accession, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday ahead of a significant NATO leaders summit in Madrid this week, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.

Speaking to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in a phone call, Erdogan said Turkiye still expects to see Sweden and Finland "change their stance" regarding the PKK terrorist organization, according to a readout from the president's office.

The two countries should also "guarantee" that they will lift the arms embargo and promise not to resort to similar tactics in the future, the Turkish leader added.

For his part, Stoltenberg said he had a "good call" with Erdogan, describing the leader as "our valued ally."

"We agreed to continue the talks in Brussels and Madrid next week," he tweeted.

In a separate phone call with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on Saturday, Erdoğan also reiterated his demand that certain figures be extradited or deported, according to the Turkish presidency.

Erdoğan underlined that "Sweden should take steps regarding such fundamental matters as combatting terrorism,” adding that Turkey wants to see "binding commitments on these issues together with concrete and clear action."

Finland and Sweden discussed their stalled NATO bids with Turkiye in Brussels on Monday, however, Ankara does not expect the dispute will be resolved before the alliance summit in Spain. Turkish officials have said Ankara does not view the summit as a final deadline for resolving Ankara's objections.

Andersson, who became prime minister late last year, said the conversation with Erdogan went well.

She tweeted that they had "agreed on the importance of making progress ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid next week, where I look forward to meeting President Erdogan and other allied leaders."

Erdogan told Andersson that Sweden "should make concrete changes in its attitude" toward the outlawed PKK and its Syrian affiliates, the presidency said.

"In this regard no tangible action aimed at addressing Turkey's concerns was seen to have been taken by Sweden," it added.