Turkey Reveals List of Demands in Order to Approve Sweden’s NATO Bid

© Sputnik / Vladimir Smirnov POOL / Go to the mediabankTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.05.2022
Ankara has threatened to block Sweden and Finland’s applications, referring to the Nordic countries' alleged "harbouring" of autonomy-seeking Kurdish groups that Turkey blacklists as "terrorists".
The Turkish government has issued an official list of five demands that it wants Sweden to fulfil in exchange for its backing of the country’s NATO application.
Speaking on Tuesday, Ankara said that it wants “concrete assurances” from Stockholm that it will sever all relations with groups linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the EU and the US.
A Turkish and an Union Jack flags are pictured at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.05.2022
Turkey Should Be Kicked Out of NATO If It Blocks Sweden and Finland’s NATO Bid, US Media Says
According to a memo circulated by the government's press department, the following demands for Sweden were singled out:
• Termination of political support for terrorism
• Eliminating the source of terrorism financing
• Cessation of arms support for PKK/PYD (the Kurdish Democratic Union Party)
• Lifting of embargos and sanctions against Turkey
• Global cooperation against terrorism
The memo comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded respect for Ankara’s national interests, and that NATO allies take concrete steps to address Turkey’s concerns.
“While we clearly play a vital role in NATO, we are still conducting talks with some of our allies about lifting sanctions, and there is no way we can put aside the issue of Sweden's sanctions against [Turkey]. There is no reasonable explanation for them”, Erdogan said.
He went on to argue that NATO expansion without considerations for protecting the fundamental aspects of security will not be beneficial for Turkey nor the alliance in general.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives for sessions on the second day of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland. (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.05.2022
‘Not Favorable’: Erdogan Opposes Letting Sweden, Finland into NATO
The Turkish president spoke after Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson stated that both Sweden and Finland will continue negotiations with Ankara. Andersson said that both countries had received "positive signals" from Erdogen, but noted that the talks might take some time.
Turkey previously blocked the start of NATO discussions needed to accept the bids, which were filed on 15 May. Erdogan demanded that both countries recognise the PKK a terrorist group, but this requirement was rejected by Sweden and Finnish officials.
Some media reports also suggested that Ankara urged its allies to lift sanctions against Turkey, specifically those imposed over its decision to buy the S-400 air defence system from Russia after the US stagnated talks on selling its Patriot systems.
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