Turkey to meet with Finland, Sweden to assess NATO deal compliance

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Turkey would assess Sweden and Finland’s compliance with a deal allowing them to join NATO at a trilateral meeting next month. 

Turkey gave the green light for Sweden and Finland to join NATO on the sidelines of a summit of the alliance in Madrid at the end of June. A committee set up to monitor implementation of the agreement will gather in August, Çavuşoğlu said in a televised interview with state-run broadcaster TRT Haber on Thursday.

“There is no time pressure on us, whenever they fulfil our conditions, then we will evaluate it in our parliament,” he said.

In May, Turkey opposed the NATO membership applications of Sweden and Finland saying they were failing to combat threats to its security posed by so-called terrorist groups including the Gülen Movement and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Turkey dropped its objections at the talks in Madrid after Sweden and Finland promised to address pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects. The decision allowed NATO to formally accept the two Nordic countries’ applications at the summit. But Turkey says final approval by its parliament rests on the two countries fulfilling their pledges.

“These two countries have commitments,” Çavuşoğlu said. “They came, we sat down, negotiated, they accepted our terms, and after all, we signed. Now they have to fulfil it.”

The NATO accession protocols for Sweden and Finland need to be ratified by the parliaments of all 30 members.

A day after the NATO summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey was demanding the extradition of 73 people in Sweden wanted on terrorism charges. Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde told the Aftonbladet newspaper the same week that her country would not agree to any extraditions unless there was proof of terrorist activity.





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