Turkish NATO Envoy: Reports on Sweden’s Compliance Misleading

A Turkish flag waves in front of NATO’s oneInternationalIndiaAfricaANKARA (Sputnik) – The Turkish envoy to NATO said on Tuesday that Sweden was less in compliance with Ankara’s requirements for its accession to the military alliance than foreign media let on. Levent Gumrukcu told Turkish newspaper in an interview that media made it took like Sweden had addressed all objections to its membership of NATO and the ball was in Turkiye’s court. “This is not true. Even Sweden itself admits that there are still steps to be taken to fulfill the requirements set out in the trilateral agreement,” the envoy said. Turkiye has demanded guarantees from Sweden and Finland that they will not harbor Kurdish separatists, whom it perceives as terrorists. Finland was cleared to join NATO in late March, while Sweden’s admission stalled over pro-Kurdish protests in Stockholm. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in March that Ankara expected Sweden to make tangible progress in the fight against terrorism. NATO chief Jens Stolteberg argued at the Finnish accession ceremony in April that Sweden too had complied with every requirement. “As soon as Sweden delivers on its promise to fight terrorism, we will take the necessary steps to finalize Sweden’s membership process as soon as possible and start the parliamentary approval process,” Gumrukcu said. The Swedish government has denied sheltering people with ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is banned in Turkiye. Despite this, Turkish media reported Tuesday that PKK flags were seen flying outside government institutions in the country’s second-largest city, Gothenburg.


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