(Brussels) Sweden hopes that measures against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) will persuade Turkey to lift its veto on NATO membership ahead of the alliance’s summit on Wednesday and Thursday in Madrid, but the Turkish president showered those hopes on Monday .
Updated yesterday at 1pm.
“We condemn terrorism in the strongest possible terms and regard the PKK as a terrorist organization,” said Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on Monday evening after a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels with the alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Ankara has blocked the membership of Sweden and Finland, accused of harboring militants from the PKK, an organization deemed “terrorist”, and has denounced the presence in those countries of supporters of preacher Fethullah Gülen, suspected of attempting a coup in July to have organized in Turkey 2016.
Mme Andersson listed the steps taken by Stockholm to address Turkey’s concerns: “legislation against the financing of terrorism, new laws criminalizing involvement in terrorist organizations, processing extradition requests filed by Ankara, and the obligation never.” to be a haven for terrorists”.
The NATO Secretary General on Monday organized a new meeting in Brussels with representatives from Turkey, Sweden and Finland to find answers to concerns raised by Ankara.
“I really hope that this dialogue can be successfully concluded in the near future, ideally before the summit,” he said.me Anderson
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet his Finnish counterparts Sauli Niinistö and Mme Andersson at the start of the Atlantic Alliance Summit in the Spanish capital.
“Sweden has taken concrete steps to respond to Turkey. They represent a paradigm shift in the face of the terrorist threat,” said Jens Stoltenberg.
But President Erdogan has showered on those hopes. “We will provide documents and images demonstrating the hypocrisy of our interlocutors towards terrorist organizations such as PKK, YPG and FETO [le groupe Gulen] ” he announced on the eve of the meeting with the Swedish and Finnish leaders.
Participation in the Madrid meeting does not mean that Turkey will lift its objections to the two Nordic countries joining the military bloc, Ankara specifies.
The NATO Secretary General was cautious about the possible outcome of the meeting. “It’s too early to tell if we’ll get from here to the summit,” he said in Madrid.
“I will not make any promises or speculate on specific timelines,” he warned.
“The summit was never a deadline. But it happens. All leaders [de l’OTAN] are present there, as well as the Swedish and Finnish leaders. So that gives us an opportunity that we should take to see if we can make progress,” he explained.
“The candidatures of Sweden and Finland will allow NATO to be strengthened, but one of the allies, Turkey, has raised particular security concerns that we must take into account,” said Jens Stoltenberg.