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Sweden resumes arms exports to Turkiye after NATO membership bid

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - JUNE 20: Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin (C-R) speaks during a press conference following NATO-hosted talks with Finland and Sweden in Brussels, Belgium on June 20, 2022. Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal (C-L) also attended. ( Dursun Aydemir - Anadolu Agency )
Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin (C-R) speaks during a press conference following NATO-hosted talks with Finland and Sweden in Brussels, Belgium on June 20, 2022. Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal (C-L) also attended. [Dursun Aydemir - Anadolu Agency]

Sweden's Inspectorate of Strategic Products (ISP) said on Friday that it had reversed a ban against exporting military equipment to Turkiye, following the Nordic country's decision to join the NATO military alliance and agreement to overcome Turkish objections, Reuters reports.

Sweden and Finland sought membership to NATO earlier this year following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but faced a hurdle as its application needs the approval of all 30 current members, with Turkiye raising objections.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had threatened to block their bids over Ankara's accusations that they supported the YPG in northern Syria, which it views as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which is also deemed a terrorist group by the United States and European Union.

Sweden and Finland effectively banned arms exports to Turkiye in 2019 after its incursion into Syria against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, with ISP revoking existing permits and granting no new ones since then, though no formal embargo existed.

READ: Turkiye asks next Swedish government to take counter-terrorism steps needed for NATO membership

The three countries reached a breakthrough agreement on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid in June, where Sweden and Finland agreed on a set of steps to be taken to address Turkiye's concerns about the candidacies.

The ISP said in a statement it began giving export permits during the third quarter, but did not reveal which companies or products had been given the go-ahead, citing confidentiality.

"Taking into account the altered defence and security policy conditions, ISP has after a full review decided to grant a permit for follow-up deliveries from Swedish defence industry to Turkiye," the authority said.

Turkiye, in May this year, said it had received positive signals with regards to a lifting of the embargo.

Categories
Europe & RussiaInternational OrganisationsNATONewsSwedenTurkey
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