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Sweden, Finland must fulfil NATO-accession deal with Turkiye, officials say 

October 19, 2022 at 9:35 am

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on October 11, 2022 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

Sweden and Finland must fulfil the terms of the NATO-accession agreement concluded with Turkiye, the Swedish ministers of foreign affairs and defence said yesterday.

In May, Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Their membership application was opposed by Turkiye which accused the Scandinavian countries of harbouring Kurdish militants, designated as “terrorists” by Ankara.

In June, Turkiye, Sweden and Finland signed a tripartite memorandum on combating terrorism on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain. However, Turkish officials have repeatedly accused the two countries of not fulfilling their responsibilities under the deal, including the extradition of terror suspects.

On Tuesday, Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tobias Billstrom, and Defence Minister Pal Jonson, both of the Moderate Party said in remarks to the Swedish News Agency that they attach great importance to NATO membership, adding that there is a broad consensus in the Swedish Parliament in this regard.

READ: ‘Hope Turkiye approves our NATO membership,’ Finnish PM says

“We must become a NATO member and we must fulfil the conditions contained in the agreement we reached with Turkiye and Finland,” Billstrom said.

For his part, Defence Minister Jonson said his country is facing the most serious security problem after World War II, expressing hope that Stockholm will join NATO by the end of the year.

Jonson stressed the new government’s determination to implement the terms of the agreement signed with Turkiye and Finland.

Earlier on Monday in an interview with the Anadolu Agency, Swedish Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson, affirmed his commitment to the NATO accession agreement signed with Turkiye, noting that he would meet with Turkish officials.