ANKARA, Turkey ( Associated Press) — Delegations from Sweden and Finland were due to hold talks with senior Turkish officials in Ankara on Wednesday in an effort to address Turkey’s objections to their historic bids to join the NATO alliance.
Sweden and Finland have NATO . Submit your written application to join In a move last week that is one of the biggest geopolitical implications of Russia’s war in Ukraine – and that could rewrite Europe’s safety map.
Turkey has said it opposes The two Nordic countries’ membership in the military alliance, citing complaints with Sweden – and to a lesser extent Finland – alleged support to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and other entities that Turkey sees as a security threat. It also accuses the two of imposing arms export sanctions on Turkey and refusing to extradite suspected “terrorists”.
Turkey’s objections to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have undermined Stockholm and Helsinki’s hopes of quick membership in NATO and put the credibility of the trans-Atlantic alliance at stake. All 30 NATO members must agree To accept new members.
Swedish and Finnish delegations are set to take up Turkey’s grievances with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal. Turkish officials have said the Swedish delegation will be led by Secretary of State Oscar Stenström, while the Finnish delegation will be led by Under Secretary of State Jukka Salovara.
The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by many of Turkey’s allies, has waged a decades-long insurgency against Turkey, a conflict that has cost thousands of lives.
Turkey this week listed five “concrete assurances” it is seeking from Sweden, which it says will “end political support for terrorism”, “elimination of sources of financing of terrorism” and “removal of weapons”. End of Support”. The banned PKK and a Syrian Kurdish militia group affiliated with it. The demands also called for the lifting of the arms embargo against Turkey and global cooperation against terrorism.
Turkey said it has been requesting the extradition of Kurdish terrorists and other suspects since 2017, but has not received a positive response from Stockholm. Among other things, Ankara claimed that Sweden had decided to provide $376 million to support Kurdish militants in 2023 and that it had provided them with military equipment, including anti-tank weapons and drones.
Sweden has denied that it was providing any “financial aid or military aid” to Kurdish groups or entities in Syria.
“Sweden is a major humanitarian donor to the Syrian crisis through global allocation to humanitarian actors,” Foreign Minister Ann Linde told Aftenbladet newspaper.
“Cooperation in Northeast Syria is carried out mainly through the United Nations and international organizations,” she said. “Sweden does not provide targeted support to Syrian Kurds or to political or military formations in northeastern Syria, but the population of these regions is, of course, participating in these aid projects.”
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