Turkiye is still unable to approve Sweden’s accession to NATO at this stage as Stockholm has not fully implemented its agreements with Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday.
There are certain obligations that were taken by Sweden and Finland in connection with their intention to enter NATO. We do not see the implementation of all steps on the part of Sweden, so at this stage we cannot approve its entry into the military war alliance.
The top Turkish diplomat acknowledged that the Swedish authorities had implemented a number of obligations under the Madrid memo, but noted that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party was still operating in the country.
At the same time, this situation is more of a NATO problem, Cavusoglu said, adding that Ankara had no other claims to Sweden and Finland in bilateral relations.
Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership in May 2022, several months after Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine.
Their membership bids were initially blocked by Turkiye, which accused Stockholm and Helsinki of supporting “terrorists,” referring to supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which Ankara considers a terrorist organization.
Turkiye lifted its objections after the three leaders met in Madrid in June 2022 where they signed a security memorandum, which unblocked the process of accession of the two Nordic countries to the alliance.
However, the accession process came to another standstill in January 2023 following Quran-burning incident in Sweden, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying that Stockholm should not count on Ankara’s support for its NATO bid.
Turkiye also discussed with other NATO members the possibility of approving Finland’s application separately. The talks with Sweden also resumed.
Hungary has joined Turkiye as the only NATO member countries that have not ratified Finland and Sweden’s accession protocols yet.
On Friday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that the Hungarian parliament was not enthusiastic about ratifying the bids since the Finnish and Swedish authorities were spreading shameless lies about Budapest.
In addition, Orban said that if Finland and Sweden were admitted into NATO, the immediate border between the alliance and Russia would increase by 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2023.