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  25 Jun 2022, 23:51

Erdogan signals no progress on Sweden's NATO bid

  
ISTANBUL, June  25, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - Turkey's President Recep Tayyip 
Erdogan signalled on Saturday that no progress had been made in Sweden's bid to 
join NATO, urging Stockholm to take "concrete actions" to meet Ankara's 
concerns, his office said.
      
 In a phone call with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, Erdogan 
reiterated that "Sweden should take steps regarding such fundamental matters as 
combatting terrorism", the Turkish presidency said in a statement.
       
Turkey "wanted to see binding commitments on these issues together with 
concrete and clear action," he added.
       
Finland and Sweden discussed their stalled NATO bids with Turkey in 
Brussels on Monday, but Ankara dashed hopes that their dispute will be resolved 
before an alliance summit next week. 
       
Turkish officials 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".

       Ankara has accused Finland and in particular Sweden of providing a safe 
haven for outlawed Kurdish militants whose decades-long insurgency against the 
Turkish state has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

       Erdogan told Andersson that Sweden "should make concrete changes in its 
attitude" toward the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (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.

       The Turkish leader also voiced expectations that Sweden would lift an arms 
embargo against Turkey that Stockholm imposed in 2019 over Ankara's military 
offensive in Syria.

       He also said he hopes that restrictions on Turkey's defence industry would 
be lifted, and that Sweden will extradite several people Ankara has accused of 
involvement in terrorism.

       The phone call comes after Erdogan discussed the two countries' bid with 
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg. 

       Erdogan also told Stoltenberg that "Sweden and Finland should take concrete 
and sincere steps" against outlawed Kurdish militants, the presidency said.
       Stoltenberg said he had a "good call" with "our valued ally" Erdogan.

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

 

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