SWEDEN: On Sunday, Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson refused to deny Turkey’s claim that it had promised to deport individuals wanted by Ankara as part of Stockholm’s efforts to join NATO.
Despite interrogations from journalists and concerns among Kurdish and Turkish refugees in Sweden, Andersson does not want to say whether such a commitment had been given to Ankara that objections to Sweden’s membership should be raised.
“I have been a minister for eight years and I never talked about what is being said in the Chamber,” she said.
“(It) actually puts me in a bit of a difficult situation right now,” she added.
In an agreement signed by Stockholm and Helsinki at a NATO summit in Madrid on Tuesday, the two Nordic countries agreed to review Turkish extradition requests “quickly and thoroughly”.
No promise has been made to actually carry out the extraditions, and Finland and Sweden have since recalled that the process is in the hands of authorities and independent courts.
But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday at the end of the NATO summit that Sweden had made a “promise” to extradite “73 terrorists” and threatened to block NATO membership if the commitments were not fulfilled.
Andersson, who on Sunday was repeatedly pressured to say whether such a promise had been made, simply repeated Stockholm’s position.
She said that Sweden will continue to respect national and international laws, no Swedish citizens will be extradited, the decision will be up to independent authorities and courts.
“If you are not involved in terrorist activities, you do not have to worry,” she said.
The Swedish leader held his first press conference since returning home from the summit, during a visit to the Baltic island of Gotland.
Every July, it hosts a week of political meetings that bring together party leaders.
But it is also one of the places that will be strengthened by the Swedish army after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Sweden’s decision to join NATO. – AFP