Sweden takes Turkey’s terrorism-related concerns seriously: Foreign Minister
Sweden takes Turkey’s concerns about terrorism seriously, the Swedish foreign minister told local media on Monday.
In a statement to state television, Ann Linde said that negotiations on Stockholm’s NATO offer continue with Ankara.
Sweden, together with Finland, formally applied to join NATO last month, a decision spurred on by Russia’s war against Ukraine, which began on 24 February.
But Türkiye, a longtime member of the alliance, has objected to the membership offers and criticized the countries for tolerating and even supporting the terrorist groups.
Linde said she expects the negotiations at the NATO summit in Madrid to be positive. “We think differently on certain issues, just as in a normal negotiation.
“Despite this, we can find a common ground by respecting each other’s opinions,” she said, adding that Sweden takes Turkey’s terrorism – related concerns seriously.
Stockholm and Ankara share the same view of the terrorist organization PKK, said Linde and claimed that she believes that Türkiye also realizes how serious Sweden is in the terrorist issue.
In its more than 35-year-old terrorist campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people.
She claimed that Sweden is one of the countries in the world that has strict rules for arms exports and said: “The decision would be made accordingly if we enter into a military alliance with Turkey, where we can defend each other.”
“There are opportunities for us to take concrete steps forward.”
NATO leaders will meet in Madrid from Tuesday to Thursday, with talks expected to focus on responses to the war in Ukraine, and the Finnish and Swedish petitions to join the 30-member military alliance.
* Written by Merve Berker in Ankara
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