Sweden hits back at Turkey’s allegation
PM Magdalena Andersson’s remarks come as Turkey has been obstructing Swedish accession to NATO
Sweden does not finance terrorists, the country’s prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, claimed on Wednesday, responding to Turkey’s allegations.
Ankara accuses Stockholm of supporting Kurdish militias, which are considered terrorists in Turkey. This stance is one of the key reasons behind Turkey’s refusal to give the green light to Sweden’s NATO membership bid.
The Swedish Embassy in Ankara, together with diplomatics from Finland and the other candidate, began negotiations on Wednesday with the Turkish government to resolve their issues.
Meanwhile, speaking at a press conference with European Council President Charles Michel in Stockholm, the Swedish prime minister said that her country is discussing Turkey’s list of conditions and is trying “To resolve any ambiguities” that could be seen in earlier media reports and in various official statements. Andersson stated that certain points are easy to understand.
“We can easily clarify that we don’t send weapons or money to terrorist groups.,” she emphasized.
Her remarks came a few days after Omer Celik, a spokesman for the Turkish ruling party, claimed Ankara had proof that Swedish weapons have turned up in the hands of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Turkish troops are often involved in cross-border operations against both the PKK in Iraq, and the YPG’s Syrian branch, the YPG.
Michel stated that he would prefer not to address the topic of Turkish demands as this could complicate the ongoing negotiations at Ankara.
But he also stressed the benefits to the EU, the military alliance, and NATO that Sweden and Finland would receive from joining NATO.
In advance of NATO negotiations, Ankara’s Turkish government released a list listing its demands. The Turkish government also stated that they want written assurances from Sweden and Finland before NATO accession can be made.
Ankara demanded from both Turkey and Turkey that they take actions against Kurdish militants, as well as lifting restrictions on arms trading with Turkey.
The Russian offensive in Ukraine had prompted the Nordic nations to request admission to US-led military bloc. All current NATO members must approve accession. Turkey has threatened to use its veto to stop Finland and Sweden from granting important concessions to protect its security interests.