Türkiye can't approve Sweden's NATO bid if Stockholm doesn't fulfill pledges: FM Cavusoglu

Türkiye on Monday reminded the pledges of Sweden and Finland for their NATO accession bids, saying it is impossible to approve Sweden's bid "without seeing steps taken," News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

"With regards to the membership of Finland and Sweden, the position of Türkiye is clear and transparent," said Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in a joint news conference with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, who arrived in Ankara for solidarity visit following the earthquakes that occurred on Feb. 6.

Reminding that terrorism is one of the two main threats for NATO, Cavusoglu said Türkiye expects two Nordic countries to meet Ankara's concerns regarding fight against terrorism.

Since the signing of the trilateral memorandum in NATO Madrid Summit in June 2022, Cavusoglu said "there has not been any satisfying steps taken by Sweden."

Noting the "determined" stance of the new Swedish government, the Turkish minister also said Sweden has made "amendments to its constitution and some laws, especially the anti-terrorism laws."

"The purpose of this amendment, as clearly stated in the memorandum of understanding, is to stop illegal acts such as financing terrorism, recruiting people for a terrorist organization and terrorist propaganda," he said, adding that such terrorist activities still continue in Sweden.

He emphasized that it is not only regarding the incident of burning of copies of the holy Quran and noted that such incident was not only unacceptable but also "an act against humanity."

Cavusoglu urged the international community to fight against such acts.

"There are pledges (by Sweden and Finland) to NATO membership. It is not possible for us to say 'yes' to Sweden's NATO membership without seeing these steps," he said.

He also said the NATO bids of the two Nordic countries can be assessed separately, as Türkiye is more positive towards Finland's process.

Cavusoglu reminded of the mechanism established among Türkiye, Sweden, and Finland, and said it is beneficial for 3rd meeting of mechanism to be held in Brussels.

The 3rd round of the mechanism's meeting is to be held "on March 9," according to the Turkish minister.

"Everyone should see clearly that Sweden, particularly, is not fulfilling its obligations. That's the reason why we said 'yes' for the meeting to be held in Brussels," he added.

Pointing out that this mechanism is not for negotiations, Cavusoglu reminded that it was established to see and understand whether the trilateral memorandum is being implemented.


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