Sweden says talks with Turkey on NATO membership to take some time

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said talks with Turkey on Sweden’s NATO membership will take some time, Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Monday.

“Sweden and Finland will continue bilateral and tripartite negotiations with Turkey in the near future but these will take some time,” Andersson told Swedish state-run TT news agency, it said.

Turkey blocked NATO membership talks with Finland and Sweden last week, citing their alleged failure to combat terrorism, saying the two countries provide shelter to members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group fighting for Kurdish autonomy on Turkish soil, and the religious Gülen Movement, which Turkey blames for a failed coup attempt in 2016.

Turkish officials accuse Sweden and Finland of failing to agree to extradite dozens of the so-called terrorists.

Sweden is one of the first countries that designated the PKK as a terrorist organisation, the Swedish prime minister said.

Andersson also said her phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan regarding the issue was good and positive, and she was looking forward to the upcoming negotiations with Ankara, according to Anadolu.

The two leaders spoke on the phone over the weekend, addressing bilateral relations and Sweden’s application for joining NATO, according to the Turkish presidency.

Ankara has also called on Sweden and Finland to drop an arms embargo on Turkey, which has been in effect since 2019.

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